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Released: Tuesday, October 25, 2005

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

  • The leading index increased again in August, its third consecutive gain, and it has been up in four of the last five months. With this month’s gain, the leading index has been increasing at a 2.0-3.0 percent annual rate, up from the essentially flat period in the first half of 2005. In addition, the strength among the leading indicators continued to be widespread in recent months.
  • The coincident index increased slightly again in August, and it has been on a slightly rising trend over the past year. At the same time, real GDP growth slowed to a 0.04 percent annual rate in the second quarter of 2005, down from the 3.0 percent rate in the first quarter. But, despite the recent volatility, this is an improvement from the small decline of -0.4 percent average rate in the second half of 2004. The slight improvement in the leading index in recent months suggests that the economy should continue to grow moderately in the near term.

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

With the 0.2 percent increase in August, the leading index now stands at 104.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.5 percent in July and increased 0.6 percent in June. During the six-month span through August, the leading index increased 1.4 percent, with five of the eight components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).

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

With the increase of 0.1 percent in August, the coincident index now stands at 104.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in July and increased 0.4 percent in June. During the six-month period through August, the coincident index increased 0.5 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 October 24, 2005. Some series are estimated as noted below.


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