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Firms See Signs of Growth

For release: 10 a.m., September 17, 2009
Contact: Katherine Dibling, E-mail senior media representative, (215) 574-4119

Philadelphia, Pa. - The region's manufacturing sector is showing signs of growth, according to firms polled for September's Business Outlook Survey. Indexes for general activity, new orders, and shipments all registered positive readings for the second consecutive month. Indexes for employment, work hours, and the prices received for manufactured goods remained negative. The general activity index increased from 4.2 in August to 14.1 this month. In the special questions, firms were asked for their expectations of their total production in the third and fourth quarters.

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

"Manufacturing executives responding to the Business Outlook Survey reported growth this month. For the second consecutive month, indexes for general activity, new orders, and shipments were all positive. However, firms reported declines in employment and work hours again this month, although the declines are still not as widespread as in the first half of the year. Although more firms have reported higher input prices in recent months, prices for their own manufactured goods were reported to be lower this month. The region's manufacturing executives still expect business to recover over the next six months, and the firms reported that they expect modest growth in the third and fourth quarters of this year."

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, October 15, 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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