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Firms Say Business Activity Is Still Weak

For release: 10 a.m., August 21, 2008
Contact: Katherine Q. Dibling, E-mail senior media advisor, 215-574-4119

Philadelphia, Pa. - The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released August ’s Business Outlook Survey. The region's manufacturing sector remains weak, according to the firms polled for this survey. In the special questions, the firms were asked about their export activities.

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

“The region’s manufacturing sector showed signs of continued weakness in August. Indicators for activity, new orders, shipments, and employment were negative again this month, but all of the indicators improved from their readings in July.  Cost pressures were evident in the firms’ responses but were slightly less widespread compared to recent months. However, over one-quarter of the firms reported higher prices for their own manufactured goods.  Despite weakness in overall current conditions, the manufacturers polled believe growth will return over the next six months.”

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, E-mail the Bank's senior media representative, at (215) 574-4119. The next survey will be released at 10 a.m., Thursday, September 18, 2008, and will be made available on our website, and over Businesswire. External Link The aggregate historical data series is also available on the Bank's website.

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