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Released: Friday, May 25, 2012

**** SPECIAL NOTICE: Eurostat has announced that it will stop producing and publishing data for new orders of capital goods, one of the components of the LEI for the Euro Area, possibly as early as next month. As soon as it is discontinued, The Conference Board will revise the LEI and its history by removing this component from the index. The Conference Board has been conducting research to find an appropriate replacement, and if possible, will incorporate the new series into the LEI during the regularly scheduled annual benchmark revisions in January 2013. ****

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the Euro Area decreased 0.8 percent in April, falling to 104.8 (2004=100), following increases of 0.1 percent in March and 0.8 percent in February.

Said Jean-Claude Manini, The Conference Board Senior Economist for Europe: “The LEI for the Euro Area fell sharply in April, after growing strongly between December and February. Business confidence and stock prices were the main contributors to the decline, indicating that instability in the financial markets was increasing even before the Greek elections and Spanish bank bailout. The Euro Area economy has avoided a second consecutive quarter of contraction, but continued uncertainty may take a toll on domestic demand and increases the risk of a new downturn.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the Euro Area, which measures current economic activity, decreased 0.1 percent in April. The index now stands at 102.3 (2004 = 100) according to preliminary estimates*. The CEI remained unchanged in March and February.

About The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the Euro Area  

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® for the Euro Area was launched in January 2009. Plotted back to 1987, this index has successfully signaled turning points in the business cycle of the bloc of countries that now constitute the Euro Area, defined by the common currency zone.

The Conference Board currently produces leading economic indexes for ten other individual countries, including Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S.

Click here for further background information on The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the Euro Area.

The eight components of The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® for the Euro Area include:

Economic Sentiment Index (source: European Commission DG-ECFIN)

Index of Residential Building Permits Granted (source: Eurostat)

Index of Capital Goods New Orders (source: Eurostat)

EURO STOXX® Index (source: STOXX Limited)

Money Supply (M2) (source: European Central Bank)

Interest Rate Spread (source: European Central Bank)

Eurozone Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (source: Markit Economics)

Eurozone Service Sector Future Business Activity Expectations Index (source: Markit Economics)

To view The Conference Board calendar for 2012 indicator releases:
www.conference-board.org/data/

* Series in The Conference Board LEI for the Euro Area that are based on The Conference Board estimates are real money supply, residential building permits, and new orders of capital goods. All series in The Conference Board CEI for the Euro Area are based on The Conference Board estimates (employment, industrial production, retail trade, and manufacturing turnover).

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world’s leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.

THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.

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