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Benchmark Revisions - March 2007

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Released: Wednesday, July 21, 2004

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Germany increased 0.2 percent, while the coincident index increased 0.1 percent in May.

  • The leading index increased slightly in May, and April’s small decline was revised up to as a small increase as actual data for new residential construction orders became available. The coincident index also increased slightly in May, keeping it on a slightly rising trend.
  • Although the leading index has increased slightly in the last two months, this follows three consecutive declines in the first quarter -- declines that temporarily interrupted the upward trend underway since March 2003.
  • Real GDP increased at a 1.4 percent average annual rate over the previous two quarters for which data are available (the fourth quarter of 2003 and the first quarter of 2004). The mixed behavior of the leading index so far this year suggests a continuation of sluggish economic growth in the near term.

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

With a 0.2 percent increase in May, the leading index now stands at 101.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in April and decreased 0.7 percent in March. During the six-month span through May, the leading index decreased 0.9 percent, with three of the eight components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 43.8 percent).

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

With the 0.1 percent increase in May, the coincident index now stands at 103.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in April and remained unchanged in March. During the six-month period through May, the coincident index increased 0.3 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 July 20, 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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