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Firms See Signs of Recovery

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

Philadelphia, Pa. - The region's manufacturing sector is continuing to show signs of recovery, according to firms polled for October's Business Outlook Survey. Indexes for general activity, new orders, and shipments all registered positive readings for the third consecutive month, but they suggest only marginal growth. Indexes for employment and work hours remained negative. The general activity index decreased from 14.1 in September to 11.5 this month. In the special questions, firms were asked about changes in their plans for capital spending related to current financial conditions.

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

"Manufacturing executives responding to the Business Outlook Survey reported marginal growth this month. For the third consecutive month, indexes for general activity, new orders, and shipments were all positive. However, firms are still reporting no increases in employment and work hours, even though declines are not as widespread as they were earlier in the year. Firms continued to report higher input prices, but higher prices for their own manufactured goods were not prevalent. The region's manufacturing executives still expect business to grow over the next six months, although overall optimism has waned somewhat in the past few 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, November 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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