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Manufacturers See Modest Decrease in Activity

For release: Thursday, December 21, 2006, at noon
Contact: Marilyn Wimp at (215) 574-4197

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released December’s Business Outlook Survey. The firms surveyed reported that economic conditions in the region’s manufacturing sector declined slightly in December. In the special question this month, the manufacturers were asked about their expected costs in 2007.

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

"Indicators from our Business Outlook Survey suggest that activity in the region’s manufacturing sector was down slightly in December. Indexes for general activity and new orders had modest declines this month, although indicators for shipments and employment were up. Firms continued to report higher prices for inputs, but the index for current prices paid suggests that price increases for inputs are diminishing. The index for prices received for respondents’ own products was slightly higher this month. The region’s manufacturing executives were slightly less optimistic about future activity, with most indicators of future activity moderating for the second consecutive 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 Marilyn Wimp, the Bank's media advisor, at (215) 574-4197. The survey's annual historical revisions, which incorporate new seasonal adjustment factors, will be released at noon, Thursday, January 11, 2007. The next Business Outlook Survey will be released at noon on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2007, 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 website.

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