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Firms See Continuing Declines

For release: 10 a.m., January 15, 2009
Contact: Katherine Dibling, E-mail senior media representative, (215) 574-4119

Philadelphia, Pa. - Manufacturing in the region experienced continuing declines this month according to respondents to January's Business Outlook Survey. The survey's broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, the diffusion index of current activity, remained negative, although it improved to –24.3 this month revised from –36.1 in December. In the special questions, manufacturers were asked about how problems related to the recent turmoil in credit markets affected them.

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

“Indicators from January's Business Outlook Survey suggest that conditions in the region's manufacturing sector continue to be depressed this month. All of the survey's broad indicators remained negative, but indexes for general activity, new orders, and shipments were less negative. The indicator for current employment worsened, however. The manufacturers continued to report lower prices for purchased inputs as well as for their own manufactured goods. Most of the survey's indicators of future activity improved, suggesting that the region's manufacturing executives expect declines to bottom out 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 aboutthe 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, February 19, 2009, 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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