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Manufacturers Report Increased Activity

For release: Thursday, August 17, 2006, at noon
Contact: Katherine Q. Dibling at (215) 574-4119

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released its Business Outlook Survey for  August. The manufacturing firms surveyed this month reported improvements in general activity, new orders, shipments, and average work hours. In the special question, participants were asked about plant shutdowns or slowdowns in production during July and August.

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

"Indicators from this month’s Business Outlook Survey reflect continued growth in the region’s manufacturing sector.  Indexes for general activity, shipments, new orders, and the average employee workweek all rebounded from their relatively low readings in July.  Just under half of the firms surveyed reported a rise in input prices this month.  One-quarter reported higher prices for their own manufactured products, nearly the same percentage as in July.  The region's manufacturing executives expect growth to continue over the next six months, but they were less optimistic about future growth than they were last month."

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 representative, at (215) 574-4119. The next Business Outlook Survey will be released September 21, 2006, at noon and will be made available on our website 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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