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Benchmark Revisions - March 2007

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Released: Tuesday, November 19, 2002

This month's release incorporates benchmark revisions to the composite indexes. With this release, the composite indexes are changed in composition and updated with revisions in component data. As a result, the indexes will no longer be comparable to those issued prior to this benchmark revision.

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Germany increased 0.1 percent, and the coincident index increased 0.2 percent in September.

  • The modest increase in the leading index in September comes after the index declined sharply by more than 1.6 percent in the preceding two months. Since last March, the index has declined 1.0 percent, with only half of its components increasing during that period. While the downward trend in the leading index appears to have moderated, the recent volatility is a cause for concern for German economic growth in the coming months.
  • The coincident index, a measure of current economic activity, increased for the second consecutive month. Improvements in employment and retail trade contributed to the strength in the coincident index during September.

Leading Indicators. Three of the eight components in the leading index increased in September. The positive contributors to the leading index -in order from the largest to the smallest positive contributor- include stock prices, consumer confidence and the yield spread. The negative contributors to the leading index -in order from the largest negative contributor to the smallest- include the growth rate of CPI services, new orders in investment goods industries, gross enterprises and properties income*, new residential construction orders*, and the inventory change series*.

With the increase of 0.1 percent in September, the leading index now stands at 101.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.8 percent in August and decreased 0.9 percent in July. During the six-month span through September, the leading index decreased 1.0 percent, with four of the eight components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Three of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in September. The positive contributors to the leading index -in order from the largest to the smallest positive contributor- include retail trade sales, the number of employed people and manufacturing sales*. Industrial production was unchanged during September.

With the increase of 0.2 percent in September, the coincident index now stands at 111.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.5 percent in August and decreased 0.3 percent in July. During the six-month period through August, the coincident index increased 0.1 percent, with three of four series making positive contributions (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).

Data Availability. The data series used by The Conference Board to compute the two composite indexes reported in the tables in this release are those available “as of” 9 A.M. ET on November 15, 2002. Some series are estimated as noted below.

*Notes: Series in the leading index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are inventory change, new residential construction orders and gross enterprises and properties income. Series in the coincident index that are based on The Conference Board estimates is manufacturing sales.

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

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