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Benchmark Revisions - March 2007

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Released: Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Germany decreased 0.1 percent, and the coincident index was unchanged in April.

  • The leading index declined for the third consecutive month in April, and weakness among the leading indicators has become more widespread in recent months. The leading index has now declined over the last six months, at about a 1.0 to 1.5 percent annual rate, down from positive growth of about 2.5 percent in late 2004 and even stronger 5.0 percent growth in the second half of 2003.
  • The coincident index was unchanged in April following small increases in the previous three months. At the same time, real GDP increased at a 4.2 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2005, up from a small decline (a -0.4 percent rate) in the second half of 2004. The continued weakness in the leading index in recent months suggests that the strong economic growth reported in the first quarter of 2005 is unlikely to be sustained in the near term.

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

With the 0.1 percent decrease in April, the leading index now stands at 102.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.4 percent in March and declined 0.1 percent in February. During the six-month span through April, the leading index declined 0.6 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 April. The positive contributors to the coincident index were manufacturing sales and employed persons*. Retail trade was unchanged, while industrial production declined in April.

Holding steady in April, the coincident index now stands at 104.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in both March and February. During the six-month period through April, the coincident index increased 0.3 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 June 21, 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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