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Manufacturers See Improvement

For release: 10 a.m., August 20, 2009
Contact: Katherine Dibling, E-mail senior media representative, (215) 574-4119

Philadelphia, Pa. - The region's manufacturing sector is showing some signs of stabilizing, according to the firms polled for the August Business Outlook Survey. The indexes for general activity, new orders, and shipments all registered slightly positive readings this month. The general activity index increased to 4.2 this month from -7.5 in July. In the special questions, manufacturers were asked about their inventory situations.

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

"Manufacturing executives responding to the Business Outlook Survey reported more stable conditions this month. For the first time since November 2007, the survey's broad indicators for general activity, new orders, and shipments were all positive. Firms reported declines in employment and work hours again this month, but the declines were not as widespread. Although more firms reported higher input prices this month, prices for final manufactured goods were nearly steady. The region's manufacturing executives still expect business to recover 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 17, 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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