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Benchmark Revisions - March 2007

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Released: Thursday, February 20, 2003

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Germany was unchanged in December, while the coincident index decreased 0.4 percent.

  • After deep declines from July to October, the leading index increased slightly in November and was unchanged in December. This raises the possibility that the index’s downward trend is abating, with the next few months being important in terms of clarifying this signal.
  • Reflecting the previous weakness in the leading index, the coincident index, a measure of current economic conditions, declined for the fourth consecutive month in December. Continued weakness in the industrial sector and declining employment are primarily responsible for bringing this index more than 2.7 percent below its historical peak.

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

The leading index now stands at 101.0 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in November and declined 0.8 percent in October. During the six-month span through December, the leading index decreased -2.1 percent, with two of the eight components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 25.0 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Three of the four components that make up the coincident index decreased in December. The negative contributors to the coincident index -in order from the largest negative contributor to the smallest- are industrial production, employment and retail trade sales*. Manufacturing sales was the only positive contributor to the index during December.

With the decrease of 0.4 percent in December, the coincident index now stands at 109.9 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.5 percent in both November and October. During the six-month period through December, the coincident index decreased 1.4 percent, with only one of its four components making positive a contribution (diffusion index, six-month span equals 25.0 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 February 19, 2003. Some series are estimated as noted below.

*Notes: Series in the composite indexes for Germany that are based on The Conference Board estimates are inventory change, new residential construction orders, gross enterprises and properties income and retail sales.

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

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