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Firms See Slower Growth Rate

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

Philadelphia, Pa. - According to the firms polled for July's Business Outlook Survey, regional manufacturing activity continues to expand but at a slower pace than in June. The general activity index decreased to 5.1 this month, down from 8 in June.

The firms reported a decline in new orders this month compared with June. However, employment showed a slight improvement over last month. Firms do expect to see growth in business over the next six months but are less optimistic than in previous months.

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

"Manufacturing executives responding to the Business Outlook Survey this month continued to report growth in manufacturing, but the survey's broadest indicators suggest a slower pace of growth again this month. The percentage of firms reporting declines in new orders exceeded the percentage reporting increases this month. The percentage of firms reporting price reductions for their own manufactured goods was greater than the percentage reporting price increases. Firms also reported a moderation in cost pressures over the past two months. The surveyed executives expect manufacturing growth to continue over the next six months, but overall, optimism diminished significantly this month."

In the special questions, firms were asked about seasonal shutdowns or production slowdowns during the summer months. More than 32 percent reported that they planned shutdowns or production slowdowns during the summer months. In 2009, almost 49 percent said they would adjust production levels in the summer, and in 2006, almost 34 percent would shutdown or slowdown.

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, August 19, 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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