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Manufacturers See Slight Increase in Activity

For release: Thursday, January 18, 2007, at noon
Contact: Katherine Q. DIbling at (215) 574-4119

Philadelphia, Pa. - The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released January’s Business Outlook Survey. The manufacturing executives participating in the survey said business activity at their firms increased this month.

In response to the special questions, 40 percent of the participants said they expect capital spending to increase this year from actual capital spending in 2006. They were asked to compare actual to planned spending in 2006 and to provide reasons for their plans to increase or decrease spending in 2007.

Philadelphia Fed Senior Economic Analyst Mike Trebing summarized the survey:

“Responses to our Business Outlook Survey suggest that economic conditions in the region’s manufacturing sector improved in January. Indicators for general activity, shipments, and employment suggest some growth. But the index for new orders reflects no change. Firms reported that input price pressures moderated again this month. Manufacturing executives were substantially more optimistic about future activity this month; most future indicators rose from their readings in December.”

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, contact Katherine Q. Dibling, the Bank's assistant media advisor, at (215) 574-4119. The next Business Outlook Survey will be released at noon Thursday, February 15, 2007, and will be made available on our website and over PR Newswire. The aggregate historical data series is also available on the Bank's website.

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