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Manufacturers See Continued Weakness

For release: 10 a.m., May 15, 2008
Contact: Katherine Q. Dibling, senior media advisor, 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 continued to show weakness this month, according to the firms polled for this survey. In the special questions, the firms were asked about if they experienced difficulty filling job openings because candidates were unqualified.

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 remained weak this month.  Although indexes for general activity, new orders, and employment all improved this month, they remain negative.  Despite weakness in current activity, cost increases continue to be widespread, and more firms reported price increases for their own manufactured goods this month. The manufacturers’ outlook for the next six months was notably more optimistic this month, and most of the future indicators have shown considerable improvement over the past two monthss.”

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. The next survey will be released at 10 a.m., Thursday, June 19, 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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