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Philadelphia Fed Adds Employment Forecast to Survey

For release: November 12, 2003
Contact: Kathy Woodbury, (215) 574-4119

PHILADELPHIA - The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Research Department is adding an employment forecast to its quarterly Survey of Professional Forecasters. The fourth-quarter survey is scheduled for release on Monday, November 24.

The survey will now include nonfarm payroll employment, an important economic indicator, according to Tom Stark, a manager in the Bank's Research Department. The addition of nonfarm payroll employment will give "a better picture of the health of the labor market," Stark says.

Nonfarm payroll employment together with an existing indicator, unemployment, will make the survey more useful as a gauge of the economy, Stark explains. Also, nationally, employment has been a focus of attention because it has been slow to recover since the end of the recession in November 2001.

The set of indicators tracked by the survey has not changed since 1992, when the 10-year Treasury bond was added. The survey is closely watched by analysts and the media for annual forecasts on other data, including GDP, unemployment, and the probability of a recession.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia serves depository institutions in eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware by supplying cash to these banks and thrifts, supervising them, collecting and processing about 5 million checks daily, wiring money and securities nationwide, as well as participating in the broader objective of setting monetary policy.

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Marilyn Wimp, ABC E-mail
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