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Manufacturers Report Slower Growth

For release: March 17, 2005 at noon
Contact: Kathy Dibling, 215-574-4119

Philadelphia, Pa. - The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released March’s Business Outlook Survey. The survey points to expansion of the region’s manufacturing sector, although indicators for general activity, shipments, employment, and work hours fell from their readings in February. Participants were asked about their actual level of inventories over the past three months and the factors that have influenced these levels.

Philadelphia Federal Reserve Senior Economic Analyst Mike Trebing summarized the survey:

"Respondents to this month’s Business Outlook Survey reported that growth in the region’s manufacturing sector is continuing. Indexes for general activity, shipments, and employment remain positive but are down from their levels in February. Firms continue to report price increases, but the price indexes are lower than in recent months. Indicators reflecting the outlook for the next six months showed improvement in March, with notable increases in the indexes for future employment and capital spending. "

This survey, which was started in 1968, gathers information on the manufacturing industry in the Third Federal Reserve District covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware. Participation in the survey is limited to manufacturing firms with plants in the area with more than 100 employees. The survey asks about the current pace of business in the participants' plants and their future expectations of business.

To arrange an interview, please contact Kathy Dibling, the Bank's assistant media representative, at (215) 574-4119. The next Business Outlook Survey will be released at noon on April 21, 2005, and will be made available on our web site and over PR Newswire. The aggregate historical data series is also available on the Bank's web site.

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