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Benchmark Revisions - March 2007

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Released: Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Germany increased 0.6 percent and the coincident index remained unchanged in June.

  • The leading index increased again in June for the seventh consecutive month. New orders in investment goods industries and the stock price index continued to contribute substantially to this positive growth in the leading index. With June's gain, the six-month growth rate of the leading index rose sharply to 3.1 percent (a 6.2 percent annual rate) in June, up from a 0.5 percent growth rate through January (about a 1.0 percent rate). In addition, the strengths among the leading indicators have continued to be more widespread than the weaknesses in recent months.
  • The coincident index was unchanged in June, and there were slight upward revisions to the previous five months as a result of data revisions in the industrial production and employment components. In June, the strengths and weaknesses among the coincident indicators were balanced, as small increases in employed persons and retail trade offset equally small declines in industrial production and manufacturing sales.
  • The growth rate of the leading index picked up sharply in recent months, following a slowdown in the second half of 2006. At the same time, real GDP grew at a 1.6 percent average annual rate in the first half of 2007 (including a 1.0 percent rate in the second quarter), below the 3.5 percent average annual rate in the second half of 2006. The continued widespread improvement in the leading index during the first half of this year suggests that economic growth should continue, and perhaps even pick up somewhat, in the near term.

LEADING INDICATORS. Six of the seven 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 orders in investment goods industries, stock prices, new residential construction orders, inventory change series*, yield spread, and gross enterprises and properties income*. The negative contributor was consumer confidence. With the 0.6 percent increase in June, the leading index now stands at 100.7 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.4 percent in May and increased 0.8 percent in April. During the six-month span through June, the leading index increased 3.1 percent, with six of the eight components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 85.7 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Two of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in June. The positive contributors to the coincident index were employed persons and retail trade. Industrial production and manufacturing sales declined in June.

Holding steady in June, the coincident index now stands at 109.2 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in May and remained unchanged in April. During the six-month period through June, 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 August 22, 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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