Fed Optimistic In Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA -- The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said in its June business outlook survey that local manufacturing activity continued to advance, with participants forecasting relatively solid improvement for the rest of the year.

The regional survey indicated gains in both shipments and orders for manufactured goods, which the bank characterized as "further evidence suggesting that an upward trend is building."

June is the fourth consecutive month to show a rise in the percentage of survey respondents reporting improvement.

61% Expect Gains

The survey said that 34% reported increased business, while 19% noted declines and 45% said business was steady. Those anticipating second-half gains numbered 61%, compared with 2% expecting a downturn.

One-third of respondents said they planned to add staff and almost half said they would increase capital spending in the next two quarters.

The Philadelphia Fed region covers eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware.

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