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Benchmark Revisions - March 2007

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Released: Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The Conference Board announced today that both the leading and coincident indexes for Germany were unchanged in October.

  • The leading index was unchanged in October, but there were large upward revisions to the previous months as actual data for the third quarter’s inventory component became available. The net result is that the growth rate of the leading index has improved to about a 2.0 -3.0 percent annual rate, up from slight declines earlier this year, but still well below the 4.0-5.0 percent growth rate in the second half of 2003. The strength in the leading index has also become somewhat more widespread in recent months.
  • The coincident index was also unchanged in October, and has been on an essentially flat 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 should pick up slightly in the near term from the third quarter’s sluggish pace.

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

Holding steady in October, the leading index now stands at 103.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.6 percent in September and was unchanged in August. During the six-month span through October, the leading index increased 1.5 percent, with four of the eight components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 percent).

Coincident Indicators.Two of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in October. The positive contributors to the coincident index were retail trade and employed persons*. Industrial production and manufacturing sales declined in October.

Holding steady in October, the coincident index now stands at 103.9 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index was unchanged in both September and August. During the six-month period through October, the coincident index increased 0.2 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 December 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, 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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