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SOUTHEASTERN MANUFACTURERS REPORT MODEST GROWTH

 ATLANTA, Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the Atlanta Fed's December survey of manufacturing conditions in the Southeast, industrial activity improved modestly at year end.
 For production and new orders, more plants reported increased activity in December from November than those seeing declines. In particular, the production diffusion index rose to 9.6 in December from a revised 2.7 in November. Additionally, respondents remain optimistic for business conditions six months from now.
 For production, 30 percent of responding plants recorded month-ago increases in December, while 20 percent saw decreases in output. In December, new orders were also positive as 37 percent of plants reported increases and only 22 percent reported declines. Although more continued to report declines in backlogs than increases, over 75 percent expect new orders to increase in six months. The share of firms expecting increases for new orders six months ahead has been steadily rising since mid-1992.
 Factory employment appeared to be largely unchanged in December from November, with approximately three out of four respondents indicating no change in the size of their workforce. However, almost 40 percent anticipate expanding their payrolls in six months, which is comparable with November's report.
 Prices received for finished products and prices paid for raw materials remained essentially unchanged in December, with over 80 percent of responding plants reporting no change from November's levels. Over 40 percent of the respondents expect materials and goods prices to increase over the next six months, and a similar proportion anticipate no change.
 The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Survey of Southeastern Manufacturing Conditions is based on information from approximately 125 manufacturing plants throughout the Sixth Federal Reserve District, which includes the states of Alabama, Florida and Georgia along with portions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. These plants represent a cross-section of industries in the region.
 December 1992
 Summary of Southeastern Manufacturing Conditions
 Dec. vs. Nov. (Pct.)(a)
 SOUTHEASTERN PLANT INDICATORS Decr. No Chg. Incr.
 Production 20.2 50.0 29.8
 Volume of shipments 25.8 47.6 26.6
 Volume of new orders 21.8 41.1 37.1
 Backlog of orders 26.0 54.5 19.5
 Inventories:
 Materials 23.0 59.0 18.0
 Plants' finished goods 28.9 45.5 25.6
 Number of employees 10.5 74.2 15.3
 Average employee workweek 13.0 72.4 14.6
 Prices received for finished product 8.1 81.3 10.6
 Prices paid for raw materials 0.8 86.3 12.9
 Volume of new orders for exports 6.2 77.3 16.5
 Supplier delivery time(b) 1.7 93.1 5.2
 INDUSTRY BUSINESS ACTIVITY, NATIONAL 19.7 51.6 28.7
 6 mos. from Dec.(Pct.)(a)
 SOUTHEASTERN PLANT INDICATORS Decr. No Chg. Incr.
 Production 4.8 21.0 74.2
 Volume of shipments 4.0 21.0 75.0
 Volume of new orders 4.1 18.7 77.2
 Backlog of orders 12.2 39.8 48.0
 Inventories:
 Materials 19.5 58.5 22.0
 Plants' finished goods 27.9 48.4 23.8
 Number of employees 13.0 47.2 39.8
 Average employee workweek 8.1 69.1 22.8
 Prices received for finished product 10.8 47.5 41.7
 Prices paid for raw materials 4.1 47.9 47.9
 Capital expenditures 14.5 42.7 42.7
 Volume of new orders for exports 7.7 56.7 35.6
 Supplier delivery time(b) 11.5 79.6 8.8
 INDUSTRY BUSINESS ACTIVITY, NATIONAL 8.3 14.0 77.7
 Data from 124 respondents. Normal seasonal fluctuations are taken into account by respondents.
 (a) Figures may not sum exactly to 100 because of rounding.
 (b) Decrease equals slower; increase equals faster
 NOTE: For background on the Survey of Southeastern Manufacturing Conditions, see the article by R. Mark Rogers, "Tracking Manufacturing: The Survey of Southeastern Manufacturing Conditions" in the September/October 1992 issue of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's Economic Review.
 -0- 1/12/93
 /CONTACT: Tony Heffernan of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 404-521-8748/


CO: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta ST: Georgia IN: FIN SU:

RA-BR -- AT004 -- 3896 01/12/93 10:03 EST
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Date:Jan 12, 1993
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