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Manufacturers See Slower Rate of Expansion

For release: May 19, 2005 at noon
Contact: Kathy Dibling, 215-574-4119

Philadelphia, Pa. - The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released May's Business Outlook Survey. Activity in the region's manufacturing sector continues to expand; however, indicators are down from last month's numbers. In special questions this month, participants were asked about the impact of higher prices for raw materials and energy on prices for their own manufactured goods.

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

"Respondents to May's Business Outlook Survey reported that manufacturing in the region is continuing to grow but at a slower pace than in April. Indicators for general activity, new orders, shipments, and employment were all lower this month. Firms continued to report price increases, but the price indexes were lower than in the previous month. The region's manufacturing executives expect growth to continue, although they are less optimistic about future conditions than they were in April."

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 Katherine Dibling, the Bank's assistant media advisor, at (215) 574-4119. The next Business Outlook Survey will be released at noon on Thursday, June 16, 2005, and will be made available on our web site at www.PhiladelphiaFed.org and over PR Newswire. The aggregate historical data series is also available on the Bank's web site.

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