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SOUTHEASTERN MANUFACTURERS: MIXED REPORTS ON CURRENT ACTIVITY AND EXPECTATIONS

 ATLANTA, March 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Responses to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's most recent survey of manufacturers in the southeast were mixed compared with those received a month earlier.
 For current activity, the percentage of respondents reporting increases in production, shipments, and new orders was little changed at over 40 percent. The number reporting declines fell noticeably for production and shipments. Six months ahead, most respondents (over 60 percent) continue to expect these conditions to improve, but the margin was smaller than was reported four weeks ago.
 The diffusion index of 29.3 for current production (calculated as the percent of respondents reporting increases less the percent reporting declines) was essentially unchanged from January's 29.1. At the same time, the index for shipments rose from 24.3 to 33.6.
 The majority of respondents continued to report flat employment conditions. More than two-thirds made no change in February in either employment levels or the length of the average employee workweek for their plants. At the same time, the share of responding plants expecting employment expansion in six months slipped to 25 percent in February, from a revised 33 percent in January and was the lowest percentage since last September.
 Responses on finished product and raw materials prices remained essentially the same in February. More than 70 percent of plants reported no change in either. Thirty-one percent expect finished prices to increase in six months, down from 41 percent in the revised January report and the lowest percentage since August 1992.
 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.
 SUMMARY OF SOUTHEASTERN MANUFACTURING CONDITIONS(b)
 Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Research Department
 ? February 1993(a)
 Feb. vs. Jan.
 (Percent)(d) Diffusion
 SOUTHEASTERN PLANT INDICATORS Decr. No Chg. Incr. Index(c)
 Production 11.4 48.0 40.7 29.3
 Volume of shipments 12.8 40.8 46.4 33.6
 Volume of new orders 17.7 41.1 41.1 23.4
 Backlog of orders 23.3 47.5 29.2 5.9
 Inventories:
 Materials 19.7 56.6 23.8 4.1
 Plants' finished goods 18.5 48.7 32.8 14.3
 Number of employees 13.0 66.7 20.3 7.3
 Average employee workweek 11.3 71.0 17.7 6.4
 Prices received for finished product 11.3 74.2 14.5 3.2
 Prices paid for raw materials 9.0 71.3 19.7 10.7
 Capital expenditures --- --- --- ---
 Volume of new orders for exports 10.8 74.2 15.1 4.3
 Supplier delivery time(e) 5.1 91.5 3.4 1.7
 INDUSTRY BUSINESS ACTIVITY, NATIONAL 14.5 46.8 38.7 24.2
 Six mos. from Feb.
 (Percent)(d) Diffusion
 SOUTHEASTERN PLANT INDICATORS Decr. No Chg. Incr. Index(c)
 Production 9.8 30.1 60.2 50.4
 Volume of shipments 9.6 28.0 62.4 52.8
 Volume of new orders 8.9 29.3 61.8 52.9
 Backlog of orders 16.7 45.0 38.3 21.6
 Inventories:
 Materials 25.8 54.2 20.2 (5.8)
 Plants' finished goods 31.9 42.9 25.2 (6.7)
 Number of employees 18.9 55.7 25.4 6.5
 Average employee workweek 11.5 68.0 20.5 9.0
 Prices received for finished product 10.6 58.5 30.9 20.3
 Prices paid for raw materials 6.5 51.2 42.3 35.8
 Capital expenditures 17.2 46.6 36.2 19.0
 Volume of new orders for exports 9.0 63.0 28.0 19.0
 Supplier delivery time(e) 10.3 83.6 6.0 4.3
 INDUSTRY BUSINESS ACTIVITY, NATIONAL 11.7 28.3 60.0 48.3
 (a) February and Revised January tables are available on the U.S. Department of Commerce Bulletin Board.
 (b) Data from 125 respondents. Normal seasonal fluctuations are taken into account by respondents.
 (c) The diffusion index is calculated as the percentage of total respondents reporting increases minus the percentage reporting declines.
 (d) Figures may not sum exactly to 100 because of rounding.
 (e) 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- 3/12/93
 /CONTACT: Tony Heffernan of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 404-521-8748/


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

BR-RA -- AT002 -- 5449 03/12/93 10:42 EST
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