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Benchmark Revisions - March 2007

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Released: Wednesday, May 24, 2006

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

  • The leading index increased slightly again in March. Following sharp monthly gains from November to January, up from essentially no growth at the beginning of 2005, the leading index has moderated somewhat in the last two months. It is now growing at slightly less than a 4.0 percent annual rate. In addition, the strength among the leading indicators continued to be widespread in the last five to six months.
  • The coincident index decreased slightly in March, the first decline over the last twelve months. At the same time, real GDP growth picked up to a 1.5 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2006, slightly above the 1.3 percent average rate in the second half of 2005. Following the steady and widespread improvement in the leading index since March 2005, its behavior in recent months suggests that moderate economic growth is likely to continue in the near term.

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

With the 0.1 percent increase in March, the leading index now stands at 106.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in February and increased 0.6 percent in January. During the six-month span through March, the leading index increased 1.9 percent, with seven of the eight components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 93.8 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. One of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in March. The positive contributor to the coincident index was employed persons. Retail trade and industrial production declined in March, while manufacturing sales remained unchanged.

With the 0.2 percent decrease in March, the coincident index now stands at 105.3 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 in February and increased 0.2 percent in January. During the six-month period through March, 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 May 19, 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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