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Manufacturers See Increase in Business Activity

For release: October 20, 2005 at noon
Contact: Kathy Dibling, 215-574-4119

Philadelphia, Pa. - The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released October’s Business Outlook Survey. The pace of activity in the region’s manufacturing sector increased this month and most indicators improved. The participants were asked whether they experienced any changes in demand or problems with production as a result of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

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

“Respondents to our Business Outlook Survey reported that the pace of growth in the region’s manufacturing sector has picked up this month. Indexes for general activity, new orders, shipments, and employment were all up from their levels in September, suggesting that the pause in growth reported last month was short-lived. Firms continued to report higher prices for inputs this month, and price increases for final manufactured goods were also more widespread. Expectations for growth over the next six months recovered from the substantial declines recorded in last month’s survey, taken shortly after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast.”

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, November 17, 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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