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Manufacturers Report Improvement

For release: 10 a.m., September 18, 2008
Contact: Marilyn Wimp, E-mail lead media advisor, (215) 574-4197

Philadelphia, Pa. - The region's manufacturing sector showed some signs of improvement this month, according to firms polled for the September Business Outlook Survey. The survey's broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, the diffusion index of current activity, increased from -12.7 in August to 3.8 this month. In special questions, the firms were asked about total production for the third quarter compared with second-quarter production. They were also asked about their expectations for production growth in the fourth quarter.

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

“The region's manufacturing sector showed signs of improvement in September. Indexes for general activity, new orders, and shipments were positive this month and suggest some growth compared with August. However, employment showed essentially no improvement, overall. Manufacturers continued to report cost pressures, but significantly fewer firms reported increases in input prices and prices paid for their own manufactured goods. Manufacturers' outlook was slightly more optimistic this month, and most of the survey's six-month indicators have shown improvement over the past two 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 Marilyn Wimp, E-mail the Bank's lead media advisor, at (215) 574-4197. The next survey will be released at 10 a.m., Thursday, October 16, 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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