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Released: Thursday, December 19, 2002

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Germany decreased 0.5 percent, and the coincident index decreased 0.3 percent in October.

  • With the latest decline, the leading index is now 2.3 percent below the recent peak it achieved in April 2002, and is now 7 percent below the peak reached back in February 2000.
  • The stock price index, after declining for the last six consecutive months, made another sharp drop in October. The negative growth rate in CPI services -- coupled with sluggishness in the consumer confidence index -- also contributed to this month’s decrease in the leading index.
  • A slowdown in industrial production as well as a loss in employment caused the decrease in the coincident index.

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

With the decrease of 0.5 percent in October, the leading index now stands at 100.3 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.8 percent in September and declined 0.2 percent in August. During the six-month span through October, the leading index decreased 2.8 percent, with five of the eight components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 37.5 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Only one of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in October. The only positive contributor to the leading index was in retail trade sales*. Industrial production and the number of employed people decreased in October, while manufacturing sales* was unchanged during October.

With the decrease of 0.3 percent in October, the coincident index now stands at 111.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in September and increased 0.5 percent in August. During the six-month period through October, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent, with three of four series making positive contributions (diffusion index, six-month span equals 62.5 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 December 18, 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, consumer confidence index, new residential construction orders and gross enterprises and properties income. Series in the coincident index that are based on The Conference Board estimates is retail trade.


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