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Firms Continue to See Expansion

For release: 10 a.m., May 20, 2010
Contact: Katherine Dibling, E-mail senior media representative, (215) 574-4119

Philadelphia, Pa. - According to the firms polled for May's Business Outlook Survey, regional manufacturing activity continues to expand. Firms reported some expansion of overall employment again this month. The general activity index increased to 21.4 from 20.2 in April.

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

"Manufacturing executives responding to the Business Outlook Survey this month continue to report improvement in manufacturing, although some of the survey's current indicators fell from their readings in April. Indexes for general activity, new orders, shipments, and employment all remained positive this month and suggest continued growth. Overall, firms remain optimistic about growth over the next six months. Responses to supplemental questions about production and employment plans indicated uncertainty about future demand, future employment costs, and excess capacity as reasons for not hiring additional workers."

In the special questions, firms were asked to characterize their short-run production and employment situations. Almost 59 percent of the respondents said they expected to increase production in the next six months. However, only 30 percent of the firms expect to hire additional workers to accommodate production increases.

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, June 17, 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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