Growth Trend in Philadelphia Manufacturing

PHILADELPHIA - Manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia area is continuing its growth trend, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said in its July business outlook.

For the third month in a row, the bank's regional survey of companies with at least 350 employees indicated an increase in business. Most of the companies expected conditions to improve further over the next six months.

Although half the respondents foresaw no change in conditions, those experiencing a pickup in activity outnumbered by 3-to-1 those anticipating a slowdown. Based on that, an index for general activity now stands at its highest level since January 1989.

Other indicators also suggested that business in the Third Federal Reserve District is on an upward trend. New orders as well as shipments rose from last month, and for the first time in more than two years, firms that reported increases in both delivery times and unfilled orders outnumbered those that did not.

Prices were considered generally steady in July, with more than 75% of the firms reporting no change in their own prices or in those they pay.

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