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Benchmark Revisions - March 2007

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Released: Thursday, May 22, 2003

This month's release incorporates benchmark revisions in the Germany Leading Index, which brings it up-to-date with revisions in its component data. Three components of the leading index underwent significant benchmark revisions by the source agency. These components are new orders for investment goods industries, new residential construction orders, and six-month smoothed growth rate of CPI for services. (Due to these revisions, month-to-month changes in the leading index are no longer comparable to those issued prior to this benchmark.) The coincident index has not been affected by these revisions.

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The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Germany decreased 0.4 percent and the coincident index decreased 0.3 percent in March.

  • The leading index declined 0.4 percent in March following a steep 0.8 percent drop in February. March marks the fourth consecutive decrease in the index, which may be signaling that recent declines in GDP will persist over the next few quarters.
  • The coincident index, a measure of current economic conditions, continues its downward trend established after July 2002 and is strongly reflective of the sluggish to negative economic growth that Germany has experienced since last year.

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

*See notes under data availability

The leading index now stands at 99.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.8 percent in February and 0.1 percent in January. During the six-month span through March, the leading index decreased 1.7 percent, with five of the eight components decreasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 43.8 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Two of the four components that make up the coincident index decreased in March. The negative contributors to the coincident index – in order from the larger negative contributor to the smaller- are employment and retail trade sales. The positive contributors to the coincident index -in order from the larger positive contributor to the smaller- are industrial production and manufacturing sales*.

With a decrease of 0.3 percent in March, the coincident index now stands at 110.1 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in February and was flat in January. During the six-month period through March, the coincident index decreased 1.2 percent, with three of its four components decreasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 12.5 percent).

* See notes under data availability.

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 May 20, 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 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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