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Benchmark Revisions - March 2007

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Released: Tuesday, March 23, 2004

The Conference Board announced today that both the leading and coincident indexes for Germany decreased 0.1 percent in January.

  • Despite a slight decline in January, the leading index has increased at a 4.0 percent annual rate from its most recent low in March 2003.
  • The coincident index also declined slightly in January, but has been essentially flat over the last six months after declining at a -0.70 percent annual rate in the first half of 2003. Correspondingly, real GDP growth improved to a 0.9 percent annual rate in the second half of 2003 from a 0.8 percent rate of decline in the first half of the year.
  • It is still likely that the upward trend in the leading index since March 2003 marked the end of the long decline in the leading index over the preceding three years. And as first mentioned last month, this persistent upturn in the leading index makes it likely that the three year period of economic weakness (mid-2000 to mid-2003) also has ended. However, the strength and durability of the recovery is still uncertain.

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

With a 0.1 percent decrease in January, the leading index now stands at 102.9 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in December and increased 0.8 percent in November. During the six-month span through January, the leading index increased 2.2 percent, with seven of the eight components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 87.5 percent).

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

With a 0.1 percent decrease in January, the coincident index now stands at 103.3 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in December and increased 0.2 percent in November. During the six-month period through January, the coincident index decreased 0.1 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 March 22, 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, 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 include 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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