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Benchmark Revisions - March 2007

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Released: Monday, July 23, 2007

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

  • The leading index increased again in May following a large gain in April. Consumer confidence index, stock prices, and new orders in investment goods industries continued to be the major contributors to the leading index. The six-month growth rate of the leading index picked up sharply to a 2.8 percent (a 5.6 percent annual rate) in May, up from 0.0 to 0.5 percent growth through January. In addition, the strengths among the leading indicators have become more widespread in recent months.
  • The coincident index was unchanged in May following a small decline in April. However, the strengths in the coincident index remained widespread this month, and three out of four components in the coincident index (industrial production, manufacturing sales, and employed persons) offset a large decline in retail trade. At the same time, real GDP grew at a 2.1 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2007, below the 3.7 percent average annual rate in the second half of 2006. The continued widespread improvement in the leading index so far suggests that economic growth is likely to continue, and perhaps pick up, in the near term.

LEADING INDICATORS. Six of the seven 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, stock prices, new orders in investment goods industries, inventory change series*, and gross enterprises and properties income*. New residential construction orders declined in May.

With the 0.3 percent increase in May, the leading index now stands at 100 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.8 percent in April and remained unchanged in March. During the six-month span through May, the leading index increased 2.8 percent, with six of the seven components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 85.7 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 industrial production, manufacturing sales, and employed persons. Retail trade declined in May.

Unchanged in May, the coincident index now stands at 108.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in April and increased 0.3 percent in March. During the six-month period through May, the coincident index increased 0.7 percent, with three of the four components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 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 20, 2007. 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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