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SOUTHEASTERN MANUFACTURERS REPORT INCREASED ACTIVITY

 ATLANTA, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the most recent survey of manufacturing conditions in the Southeast by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, industrial activity increased in January.
 Forty-four percent of responding plants reported production increases in January, the highest percentage since last June. Shipments and new orders were also more positive in January. Furthermore, a large share of the respondents (two-thirds in January) continue to expect business conditions, as measured by production, shipments and new orders, to improve in six months.
 The diffusion index for production (calculated as the percent of respondents reporting increases less the percent reporting declines) reached 26.6 in January, up from a revised 5.5 in December. After having been negative for most of the second half of last year, the diffusion index for order backlogs turned positive.
 More plants reported employment gains in January but the majority (60 percent) still saw no change in work force size. Additionally, two- thirds of the respondents reported no change in the length of the average workweek. For the last year, the share of respondents indicating they expect to increase their employment rolls in six months has remained near 30 percent.
 Finished product and raw materials prices remained steady in January according to over 65 percent of reporting plants. Still, more than 40 percent expect finished goods and materials prices to increase in the next six months.
 More respondents are planning higher capital expenditures six months from now. Approximately 46 percent expect to expand capital outlays, the highest percentage recorded since this survey's inception in December of 1991.
 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
 January 1993(a)
 Jan. vs. Dec.
 (Percent)(d) Diffusion
 SOUTHEASTERN PLANT INDICATORS Decr. No Chg. Incr. Index(c)
 Production 17.2 39.1 43.8 26.6
 Volume of shipments 20.5 33.9 45.7 25.2
 Volume of new orders 20.3 36.7 43.0 22.7
 Backlog of orders 22.8 46.5 30.7 7.9
 Inventories:
 Materials 16.7 59.5 23.8 7.1
 Plants' finished goods 20.8 48.0 31.2 10.4
 Number of employees 15.5 61.2 23.3 7.8
 Average employee workweek 14.1 66.4 19.5 5.4
 Prices received for finished product 15.9 66.7 17.5 1.6
 Prices paid for raw materials 10.5 69.4 20.2 9.7
 Volume of new orders for exports 10.5 70.5 19.0 8.5
 Supplier delivery time(e) 5.6 89.7 4.8 0.8
 INDUSTRY BUSINESS ACTIVITY, NATIONAL 22.0 40.9 37.0 15.0
 Six mos. from Jan.
 (Percent)(d) Diffusion
 SOUTHEASTERN PLANT INDICATORS Decr. No Chg. Incr. Index(c)
 Production 6.3 27.6 66.1 59.8
 Volume of shipments 6.4 24.8 68.8 62.4
 Volume of new orders 6.3 26.6 67.2 60.9
 Backlog of orders 11.5 41.8 46.7 35.2
 Inventories:
 Materials 21.0 58.9 20.2 (0.8)
 Plants' finished goods 21.6 55.2 23.2 1.6
 Number of employees 16.0 52.0 32.0 16.0
 Average employee workweek 11.8 68.5 19.7 7.9
 Prices received for finished product 9.5 48.4 42.1 32.6
 Prices paid for raw materials 7.3 50.0 42.7 35.4
 Capital expenditures 8.5 45.3 46.2 37.7
 Volume of new orders for exports 5.4 63.1 31.5 26.1
 Supplier delivery time(e) 5.8 85.1 9.1 (3.3)
 INDUSTRY BUSINESS ACTIVITY, NATIONAL 7.4 16.5 76.0 68.6
 (a) January and Revised December tables are available on the U.S. Department of Commerce Bulletin Board.
 (b) Data from 129 respondents. Normal seasonal fluctuations are taken into account by respondents.
 (c) The difussion 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- 2/12/93
 /CONTACT: Tony Heffernan of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 404-521-8748/


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

BR-RA -- AT003 -- 6071 02/12/93 10:02 EST
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