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Manufacturers See Slight Improvement

For release: Thursday, May 17, 2007, at noon
Contact: Katherine Dibling at (215) 574-4119

Philadelphia, Pa. - The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released May's Business Outlook Survey. Activity in the region’s manufacturing sector improved slightly. Most of the main indicators, including those for general activity and employment, increased from their readings in April. In the special questions, manufacturers were asked about current demand for their goods compared to what was expected in January and about any related adjustments they have made in their capital spending plans.

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

"Activity in the region’s manufacturing sector improved slightly in May, according to respondents to this month’s Business Outlook Survey. Indicators for general activity, new orders, shipments, and employment all improved from their readings in April.  Firms continued to report higher input costs, but only slightly more firms reported higher prices for their own manufactured goods than reported price decreases. The region’s manufacturing executives were also more optimistic about future activity, with most future indicators increasing 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, 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 June 21, 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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