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Released: Wednesday, September 24, 2003

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Germany increased 0.5 percent, while the coincident index declined 0.1 percent in July.

  • The leading index increased significantly for the second consecutive month, and has now increased at a 4.5 percent annual rate from its recent low in March. This pickup has been widespread—only one component of the leading index has declined since March, and the six-month diffusion index has risen to 62.5 percent.
  • The coincident index continued declining in July, although the rate of decline has slowed in the past two months. The continued weakness in the coincident index reflects (with the normal lag) the decline in the leading index earlier this year.
  • The widespread increase in the leading index since March is signaling a moderate pickup in economic growth during the second half of the year, which would end the slight decline in real GDP over the previous three quarters.

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

With a 0.5 percent increase in July, the leading index now stands at 100.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.5 percent in June and decreased 0.2 percent in May. During the six-month span through July, the leading index decreased 0.2 percent, with five of the eight components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 62.5 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Two of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in July. The positive contributors to the coincident index – in order from the larger positive contributor to the smaller- are industrial production and manufacturing sales. Retail trade sales and employed persons decreased in July.

With a 0.1 percent decline in July, the coincident index now stands at 108.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in June and decreased 0.6 percent in May. During the six-month period through July, the coincident index decreased 1.7 percent, with only one of the four components increasing (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” 10 A.M. ET on September 23, 2003. Some series are estimated as noted below.

*Notes: Series in the leading index for Germany 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 for Germany that are based on The Conference Board estimates is employed persons.

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

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