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For release: Thursday, March 16, 2006, at noon
Contact: Katherine Dibling at (215) 574-4119
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia today released its March Business Outlook Survey. Activity in the region’s manufacturing sector continued to grow. In special questions participants were asked if they had encountered problems filling job openings over the past three months. They were also asked to specify the kinds of skills missing in applicants and about the gap between required skills and available skills now compared to six months ago and one year ago.
Philadelphia Federal Reserve Senior Economic Analyst Mike Trebing summarized the survey:
"Respondents to March’s Business Outlook Survey reported that manufacturing in the region continues to expand. The general activity index decreased modestly this month, but indicators for new orders and shipments improved and the employment index remained positive. Firms continued to report higher prices for inputs and for their final manufactured goods, but the survey’s diffusion indexes suggest cost pressures are continuing to moderate. The region's manufacturing executives expect growth to continue but were less optimistic about future conditions than they were last month."
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 Katherine Dibling, the Bank's assistant media advisor, at (215) 574-4119.
The next Business Outlook Survey will be released at noon Thursday, March 16, 2006, and will be made available on our website and over PR Newswire. The aggregate historical data series is also available on the Bank's web site.