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In January of each year, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia revises historical data for the Business Outlook Survey after calculating new seasonal adjustment factors. Because survey responses are characterized by seasonal patterns, new seasonal factors are calculated annually based on the addition of a complete year of data. While this year's revisions altered levels of the indexes for certain months, the pattern of change in most series was not significantly affected. The current general activity index remained negative for 11 of 12 months in 2008 (although the index was positive in August, it was revised down from 3.8 to 1.9). The largest revisions of the current general activity index were for the months of January and August. The revisions increased the current general activity index in January 2008 from -20.9 to -12.0. For August the index was revised down from -12.7 to -20.1.
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