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Benchmark Revisions - March 2007

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Released: Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Germany increased 0.7 percent and the coincident index increased 0.1 percent in January.

  • The leading index increased sharply in January, and December and November were revised up as a result of data revisions. With January’s gain, the growth of the leading index has picked up to about a 4.0 to 5.0 percent annual rate in recent months, up from essentially no growth in the beginning of 2005. In addition, the strength among the leading indicators continued to be widespread in recent months.
  • The coincident index, a measure of current economic activity, increased slightly in January. 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 steady and widespread improvement in the leading index since March 2005 suggests that economic growth is likely to pick up in the near term.

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

With the 0.7 percent increase in January, the leading index now stands at 106.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.6 percent in December and increased 0.5 percent in November. During the six-month span through January, the leading index increased 2.2 percent, with seven of the eight components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 87.5 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Three of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in January. The positive contributors to the coincident index were manufacturing sales, retail trade, and industrial production. Employed persons declined in January.

With the 0.1 percent increase in January, the coincident index now stands at 105.1 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index was unchanged in December and increased 0.1 percent in November. During the six-month period through January, the coincident index increased 0.5 percent, with two of the four components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 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 March 21, 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, new residential construction orders, 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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