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Benchmark Revisions - March 2007

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Released: Wednesday, April 20, 2005

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

  • The leading index declined slightly in February, and the strength in the leading index has become less widespread in recent months. This month’s small decline keeps the growth rate of the leading index fluctuating in the 0.0 to 1.0 percent range (annual rate), well below the 4.0 to 5.0 percent growth during the second half of 2003.
  • The coincident index increased for a second consecutive month in February, and it has been on a rising trend (about a 1.0 percent annual rate) since late 2003. At the same time, real GDP declined at a 0.9 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2004 following almost no growth in the third quarter, and both of these are down from 1.7 percent average growth in the first half of 2004. The continued no change or slight increases in the leading index in recent months suggests that the economy is likely to grow in the near term, but at a sluggish rate.

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

With the 0.1 percent decrease in February, the leading index now stands at 103.1 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index was unchanged in January and increased 0.2 percent in December. During the six-month span through February, the leading index remained steady, with five of the eight components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 62.5 percent).

Coincident Indicators.Three of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in February. The positive contributors to the coincident index were retail trade, industrial production, and employed persons*. Manufacturing sales declined in February.

With the 0.2 percent increase in February, the coincident index now stands at 104.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in January and was unchanged in December. During the six-month period through February, the coincident index increased 0.4 percent, with two of the four components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 62.5 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 April 19, 2005. 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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