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Firms Continue to See Expansion

For release: 10 a.m., April 15, 2010
Contact: Katherine Dibling, E-mail senior media representative, (215) 574-4119

Philadelphia, Pa. - The expansion of the region's manufacturing sector is continuing, according to firms polled for April's Business Outlook Survey. Indexes for general activity and new orders showed slight improvement from last month. The general activity index increased from a reading of 18.9 in March to 20.2 this month.

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

"Indicators from the April Business Outlook Survey suggest that manufacturing activity in the region continues to grow. All of the broad indicators remained positive this month and suggest continued growth. More firms reported higher prices for inputs this month, but prices of manufactured goods remained generally steady. Indicative of continued improvement in the labor market, employment and average work hours at the reporting firms are also increasing. Firms expect continued growth over the next six months. Over half of the firms expect increases in new orders and shipments and over one-third expect an expansion of employment."

In special questions, firms were asked about credit conditions and their impact on operations. Slightly more firms indicated that credit conditions have eased (16 percent) over the last six months; 13 percent believe conditions have tightened.

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. 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 Dibling, E-mail the Bank's senior media representative, at (215) 574-4119. The next Business Outlook Survey will be released at 10 a.m., Thursday, May 20, 2010, 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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