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Manufacturing Indicators Suggest No Growth

For release: Thursday, September 21, 2006, at noon
Contact: Katherine Q. Dibling at (215) 574-4119

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released September’s Business Outlook Survey. Activity in the region's manufacturing sector slowed this month, according to firms polled for the survey.  Indicators for general activity, new orders, and shipments fell from their readings last month and suggest no growth. The firms were also significantly less optimistic about future activity. In a special question, participants were asked about actual capital expenditures this year and plans for expenditures in 2007.

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

"Indicators from our Business Outlook Survey reflect little or no growth in the region’s manufacturing sector this month. The indexes for general business activity, shipments, and new orders fell from their readings in August. The index for current employment, however, showed some overall improvement. A significant percentage of the firms continue to report rising prices for inputs, but our index for current prices paid suggests that price increases were less widespread this month. The index for prices received for our respondents’ own products was somewhat higher than last month, however. The executives who responded to the survey this month were significantly less optimistic about future growth in manufacturing."

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 Q. Dibling, the Bank's assistant media advisor, at (215) 574-4119. The next Business Outlook Survey will be released at noon on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2006, 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 website.

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