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Benchmark Revisions - March 2007

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Released: Wednesday, July 26, 2006

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

  • The leading index decreased slightly in May. Following a sharp and steady pick up after March 2005 and large monthly gains from November to January 2006, the leading index has moderated slightly in the last few months, and it is now growing at about a 3.5 to 4.5 percent annual rate. Both the new orders for investment goods and new residential construction orders components have been the main negative contributors to the leading index in the last three months. However, the strengths among the leading indicators were somewhat more widespread than weaknesses in recent months.
  • The coincident index increased in May. 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 current behavior of the leading index suggests that moderate economic growth is likely to continue in the near term.

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

With the 0.1 percent increase in May, the leading index now stands at 106.9 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in April and declined 0.2 percent in March. During the six-month span through May, the leading index increased 1.7 percent, with seven of the eight components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 93.8 percent).

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

With the 0.2 percent increase in May, the coincident index now stands at 105.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in April and increased 0.1 percent in March. During the six-month period through May, the coincident index increased 0.6 percent, with all four components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100.0 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 July 24, 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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