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Manufacturers Report Continued Weakness

For release: 10 a.m., April 17, 2008
Contact: Katherine Q. Dibling, senior media advisor, 215-574-4119 or Robert McCarthy, public affairs manager, 215-574-6112

Philadelphia, Pa. - The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released April ’s Business Outlook Survey. Activity in the region's manufacturing sector continued to weaken this month, according to the firms polled for this survey. In the special questions, firms were asked about changes in demand and plans for capital spending since the beginning of this year.

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

“The region’s manufacturing sector shows signs of continued weakness this month, according to indicators from April’s Business Outlook Survey. Weakness is evidenced by negative readings for all of the broad indicators of current economic performance: activity, new orders, shipments, employment, and hours worked. Cost increases continue to be widespread, and more firms reported increases for their own manufactured goods this month. The region’s manufacturing executives were more optimistic about future activity, but firms expect essentially no increase in employment over the next six months, and some firms have cut back, delayed, or postponed planned capital spending since the beginning of the year.”

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 senior media representative, at (215) 574-4119, or Robert McCarthy, public affairs manager, (215) 574-6112. The next survey will be released at 10 a.m., Thursday, May 15, 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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