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Manufacturing sector shows continued weakness in May

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Manufacturing indicators showed continued weakness this month.
Manufacturing indicators showed continued weakness this month.

The manufacturing sector showed continuing signs of weakness this month, according to the monthly business outlook survey issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, which covers most of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware.

The survey indicated that manufacturing firms in the region including makers of farm equipment, construction equipment and other goods, reported decreases in input prices and prices for their own manufactured goods.

The survey's current inventory index improved for the second consecutive month, while delivery times and unfilled orders indexes were little changed from last month, suggesting continued weakness, the report said.

New orders remained negative this month - the only broad indicator that did not show improvement.

The survey indicated that employment losses in the sector moderated from April. In May, 35 percent of firms reported declines in employment and only 8 percent reported increases.

However, most of the survey's indicators of future activity improved again this month, suggesting that the region's manufacturers are more optimistic that a recovery will occur over the next six months, according to the report.

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