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Benchmark Revisions - March 2007

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Released: Wednesday, November 17, 2004

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Germany increased 0.3 percent, and the coincident index decreased 0.1 percent in September.

  • The leading index increased in September following two consecutive declines. Consumer confidence and stock prices were the major contributors to September’s gain, but increases in these components in September just offset declines in the previous several months. The growth rate of the leading index has been in the 0.0-1.0 percent range (annual rate) in recent months, a slight improvement from declines earlier this year, but still well below the 4.0-5.0 percent growth rate in the second half of 2003.
  • The coincident index declined slightly in September, but has been on a flat to slightly rising trend since late 2003. At the same time, real GDP growth slowed to a 0.4 percent annual rate in the third quarter, down from a 1.7 percent average rate in the first half of 2004. The recent behavior of the leading index suggests that economic growth will continue, but probably at a slightly higher rate than in the third quarter.

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

With the increase of 0.3 percent, the leading index now stands at 102.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.4 percent in August and decreased 0.1 percent in July. During the six-month span through September, the leading index increased 0.7 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 September. The positive contributors to the coincident index were manufacturing sales and employed persons*. Industrial production and retail trade declined in September.

With the 0.1 percent decrease in September, the coincident index now stands at 103.9 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in August and remained flat in July. During the six-month period through September, the coincident index increased 0.4 percent, with three of the four components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).

Data Availability.The data series used to compute the two composite indexes reported in this release are those available “as of” 10:00 A.M. ET November 16, 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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