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Firms Continue to See Weak Conditions

For release: 10 a.m., February 21, 2008
Contact: Katherine Q. Dibling, senior media advisor, (215) 574-4119

Philadelphia, Pa. -  The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released February's Business Outlook Survey. Activity in the region's manufacturing sector continued to weaken this month, according to the survey's participants. Indexes for general activity, shipments, and new orders remained negative this month. In the special questions, firms were asked about inventories.

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

“Indicators from our Business Outlook Survey suggest that conditions in the region’s manufacturing sector continued to weaken this month. After falling significantly last month, indexes for general activity, shipments, and new orders remained negative. A significant share of firms reported higher prices for inputs and for their own manufactured goods, although the respective indexes were somewhat less elevated this month. Manufacturers’ outlook for the next six months turned noticeably more pessimistic this month, with some future indicators turning negative for the first time since 2001.”

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 survey will be released at 10 a.m., Thursday, March 20, 2008, 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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