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Benchmark Revisions - March 2007

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Released: Wednesday, April 19, 2006

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

  • The leading index increased again in February. With February'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. The stock price index has been the main positive contributor to the increase in the leading index in recent months, but the strengths among the leading indicators continue to be widespread.
  • The coincident index increased slightly again in February, and it has been on a rising trend since early 2005. The strength in the coincident index has been concentrated in the industrial sector since August 2005. 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 continued steady and widespread growth in the leading index in recent months suggests that economic growth is likely to pick up from its sluggish rate at the end of 2005.

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

With the 0.2 percent increase in February, the leading index now stands at 106.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.7 percent in January and increased 0.6 percent in December. During the six-month span through February, the leading index increased 2.3 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 February. The positive contributors to the coincident index were retail trade, manufacturing sales, and employed persons. Industrial production was unchanged in February.

With the 0.1 percent increase in February, the coincident index now stands at 105.3 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased in January and remained unchanged in December. During the six-month period through February, the coincident index increased 0.5 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 18, 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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