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Philly Fed sees manufacturing declines, long-term optimism

By , - Last modified: February 22, 2013 at 9:09 AM

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia is seeing declines in manufacturing activity yet has a more positive outlook for coming months in the sector, according to its latest Business Outlook Survey.

Its monthly index is showing general declines in current activity and demand for manufactured goods as gauged by new orders from January to February, according to the Fed.

However, more surveyed companies expect longer-term improvements to manufacturing activity. In the next six months, 47 percent of companies expect increases in general activity and 15 percent expect decreases. Future orders also are expected to increase over the next six months, according to the Fed.

A majority of surveyed companies, 53 percent, also expect first-quarter growth. Here's a look at additional first quarter expectations:

• 16.9 percent of companies expect growth of more than 5 percent.

• 14.1 percent of companies expect between 3 and 5 percent growth.

• 22.6 percent of companies expect less than 3 percent growth.

• 21.1 percent of firms expect no change in activity.

• 25.1 percent of companies expect a decrease in activity.

• 46.5 percent said growth is accelerating.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank covers eastern Pennsylvania — including the midstate — as well as southern New Jersey and all of Delaware.

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