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Benchmark Revisions - March 2007

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Released: Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Germany increased 0.3 percent, while the coincident index declined 0.1 percent in December.

  • The leading index increased again in December, and the strength among the leading indicators continued to be widespread. With December's increase, the leading index has been growing at a 2.5 - 3.5 percent annual rate in recent months, up from essentially no growth in the beginning of 2005.
  • The coincident index declined slightly in December, but it is still on a moderately rising trend. In addition, the strengths among the coincident indicators have been somewhat more widespread in recent months. At the same time, real GDP growth slowed to a 0.04 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2005, down from the 2.5 percent rate in the third quarter and the 1.9 percent average rate in the first half of the year. The widespread and steady growth in the leading index since March 2005 suggests that the economy will continue to expand in the near term, and the sluggish rate reported in the fourth quarter of 2005 is not likely to persist.

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

With the 0.3 percent increase in December, the leading index now stands at 105.3 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.4 percent in November and increased 0.1 percent in October. During the six-month span through December, the leading index increased 1.5 percent, with six of the eight components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 68.8 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Two of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in December. The positive contributors to the coincident index were industrial production, and manufacturing sales. Retail trade and employed persons* declined in December.

With the 0.1 percent decline in December, the coincident index now stands at 104.9 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in both November and October. During the six-month period through December, 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 February 17, 2006. 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 and gross enterprises and properties income. There are no series in the coincident index for Germany that are based on The Conference Board estimates.

THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.

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