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Benchmark Revisions - March 2007

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Released: Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Germany declined 0.3 percent and the coincident index increased 0.3 percent in June.

  • The leading index decreased in June, and May's slight decrease was revised up to no change as actual data became available for new residential construction orders. Decreasing stock prices and consumer confidence were the major negative contributors in June. Despite June's decline, the leading index rose 0.9 percent from December to June (about a 1.9 percent annual rate), down from about a 2.3 percent annual average growth rate in the first quarter of the year. However, the strengths among the leading indicators were more widespread than weaknesses in recent months.
  • The coincident index increased again in June, and this index of current economic activity has been on an upward trend since mid-2005. At the same time, real GDP grew at a 3.3 percent annual rate in the second quarter of 2006, following a 1.5 percent annual rate in the first quarter and a 1.3 percent average rate in the second half of 2005. 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 recent months, suggesting that economic growth is likely to continue, but at a moderate rate, in the near term.

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

With the 0.3 percent decrease in June, the leading index now stands at 106.7 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in May and increased 0.3 percent in April. During the six-month span through June, the leading index increased 0.9 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 June. The positive contributors to the coincident index were industrial production, retail trade, and employed persons. Manufacturing sales declined in June.

With the 0.3 percent increase in June, the coincident index now stands at 106.0 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in May and decreased 0.1 percent in April. During the six-month period through June, the coincident index increased 0.9 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 August 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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