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Manufacturers See Increased Activity

For release: January 15, 2004 at noon
Contact: Kathy Woodbury, 215-574-4119

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released its Business Outlook Survey for January. The region's manufacturing sector continued to improve into the new year. Survey participants were asked about their plans for spending on new plant and equipment over the next six to 12 months.

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

"Recent improvement in the region's manufacturing sector continued into the first month of 2004. The survey's indicators for general activity, new orders, and shipments remain at relatively high levels this month. About half of the firms surveyed reported growth in new orders this month. Employment indexes were also positive. Manufacturing executives' outlook for future growth continued to be optimistic, and there were some signs of increase in capital spending plans."

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 Kathy Woodbury, the Bank's assistant media advisor, at (215) 574-4119. The annual revisions of historical data can be found on our website. The next Business Outlook Survey will be released February 19, 2004, at noon and will be made available on this web site and over PR Newswire. The aggregate historical data series is also available on the Bank's web site.

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Media Contacts

Marilyn Wimp, ABC E-mail
Manager of Media Relations
(215) 574-4197
(267) 254-4555 (cell)

Daneil Mazone E-mail
Media Relations Representative
(215) 574-7163
(267) 535-1808 (cell)