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Manufacturers Report Positive Growth

For release: March 18, 2004 at noon
Contact: Kathy Woodbury, 215-574-4119

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released its March Business Outlook Survey. Activity in the region's manufacturing sector continues to improve. This month, participants were asked about their current and future plans for hiring.

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

"Current indicators suggest that growth in the region's manufacturing sector is continuing. The indexes for general activity and new orders are down from their February readings, but they remain at relatively high levels. The employment indexes also remained positive this month, but the survey's price indexes suggest costs are mounting for a majority of firms. Respondents remain optimistic about overall growth in the next six months, but the index of future activity was lower this month than last."

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 next Business Outlook Survey will be released Thursday, April 15, 2004, at noon and will be made available on this web site and over PR Newswire. The annual revisions of historical data can be found on our website.

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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)