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Manufacturers See Increase in Activity

For release: February 17, 2005 at noon
Contact: Kathy Dibling, 215-574-4119

Philadelphia, Pa. - The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released February’s Business Outlook Survey. Expansion in the region's manufacturing sector is growing at a slightly faster rate than in January, according to the firms surveyed for this month's survey. Indicators for general activity, new orders, and shipments increased this month. The manufacturers were asked whether they expect the share of products they export to stay the same, to increase, or to decrease over the remainder of 2005.

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

“Respondents to this month’s Business Outlook Survey reported that growth in the region’s manufacturing sector is continuing at a somewhat faster pace than last month. Indicators for general activity, new orders, and shipments all increased from their readings in January. Firms continue to report a rise in prices for inputs and finished goods, although the price index for inputs fell significantly this month. Most indicators reflecting the outlook for the next six months showed slight improvement, although expectations for employment growth moderated somewhat.”

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, please contact Kathy Dibling, the Bank's assistant media representative, at (215) 574-4119. The next Business Outlook Survey will be released at noon on Thursday, March 17, 2005, and will be made available on our web site at www.philadelphiafed.org 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)