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Benchmark Revisions - March 2007

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Released: Friday, January 23, 2004

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Germany increased 0.7 percent, while the coincident index increased 0.8 percent in November.

  • The leading index continued increasing rapidly in November. The leading index has now increased at a 4.4 percent annual rate since its most recent low last March, and at an even stronger 5.3 percent rate over the last six months, and the strength continues to be widespread. The coincident index increased sharply in November following three consecutive (and downward revised) declines.
  • The increase in the leading index since March is much larger than the brief upturn that occurred in early 2002, and is in fact the largest and longest pickup since the late 1990s. The increase in the leading index since March signaled some improvement in economic growth during the second half of 2003. Correspondingly, real GDP growth picked up to a 0.9 percent annual rate in the third quarter following small declines in the first half of the year (a -0.8 percent annual rate).
  • The persistent and more rapid growth in the leading index through November suggests stronger economic growth in coming quarters. More generally, it is now more likely that three years of declines in the leading index (early 2000 to early 2003) and three years of flat real GDP (late 2000 to late 2003) have ended.

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

With a 0.7 percent increase in November, the leading index now stands at 102.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.5 percent in October and increased 0.2 percent in September. During the six-month span through November, the leading index increased 2.6 percent, with five of the eight components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Two of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in November. The positive contributors to the coincident index were industrial production and manufacturing sales. Employed persons and retail trade decreased in November.

With a 0.8 percent increase in November, the coincident index now stands at 108.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.6 percent in October and decreased 0.1 percent in September. During the six-month period through November, the coincident index decreased 0.2 percent, with two of the four components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50 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 January 21, 2004. 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 and gross enterprises and properties income. Series in the coincident index for Germany that is 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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