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Manufacturers See Deterioration in Conditions

For release: 12 p.m., December 20, 2007
Contact: Katherine Q. Dibling, assistant media advisor, (215) 574-4119

Philadelphia, Pa. -  The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released December’s Business Outlook Survey. Activity in the manufacturing sector slowed down in December, according to survey participants. In a special question, the firms were asked about their expectations for changes in 2008 to the cost of energy, raw materials, intermediate goods, wages, health benefits, and nonhealth benefits.

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

“Indicators from our Business Outlook Survey suggest that activity in the region’s manufacturing sector deteriorated slightly this month. Although the indicator for general activity was negative in December, indexes for new orders and shipments showed improvement. The employment indicator suggested nearly flat growth.  A significant share of firms continued to report higher prices for inputs and for their own manufactured goods, and the indexes for prices paid and prices received were slightly lower this month.  Indicators for future manufacturing growth declined for the second consecutive month, suggesting that a slower rate of growth is expected during the first half of 2008.”

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 Katherine Q. Dibling, the Bank's assistant media advisor, at (215) 574-4119. Beginning in January 2008, the Business Outlook Survey will be released at 10 a.m. The release time has been noon on the third Thursday of the month since June 2001. See the news release. The annual data revisions will be released at 10 a.m., Thursday, January 10, 2008. The next survey will be released at 10 a.m., January 17, 2008, and will be made available on our website, and over PR Newswire. The aggregate historical data series is also available on the Bank's website.

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Marilyn Wimp, ABC E-mail
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Daneil Mazone E-mail
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