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Benchmark Revisions - March 2007

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Released: Monday, June 26, 2006

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Germany increased 0.3 percent and the coincident index remained unchanged in April.

  • The leading index increased again in April. Following large monthly gains from November to January, the leading index has moderated slightly in the last few months, and it is now growing at about a 4.0 to 5.0 percent annual rate. In addition, the strength among the leading indicators continued to be widespread in recent months.
  • The coincident index remained the same in April, with March's small decline revised up to a 0.0 percent change due to data revisions. At the same time, real GDP grew at 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.
  • The leading index picked up sharply and steadily after March 2005 and this improvement was widespread among its components. In the first four months of 2006, this improvement in the leading index continued but at a slightly slower rate. The current behavior of the leading index suggests that moderate economic growth is likely to continue in the near term.

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

With the 0.3 percent increase in April, the leading index now stands at 107.2 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in March and increased 0.2 percent in February. During the six-month span through April, the leading index increased 2.5 percent, with all eight components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100.0 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Three of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in April. The positive contributors to the coincident index were industrial production, employed persons, and retail trade. Manufacturing sales remained unchanged in April.

With the 0.0 percent change in April, the coincident index now stands at 105.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in March and increased 0.2 percent in February. During the six-month period through April, the coincident index increased 0.6 percent, with three of the four components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 87.5 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 June 22, 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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