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Benchmark Revisions - March 2007

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Released: Monday, September 24, 2007

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Germany increased 0.1 percent and the coincident index increased 0.3 percent in July.

  • The leading index increased slightly in July, and there were small downward revisions to the leading index for March through June as new data became available for the quarterly gross enterprises and properties income and inventory change components. Consumer confidence made the largest positive contribution to the index in July, reversing its June decline. With July's gain, the leading index has grown 1.8 percent from January to July (about a 3.6 percent annual rate), up from a 0.5 percent six-month growth rate in January (about a 1.0 percent annual rate). In addition, the strengths among the leading indicators have continued to be more widespread than the weaknesses in recent months.
  • The coincident index also increased in July, and during this month, the strengths among the coincident indicators were widespread. Manufacturing sales and retail trade made the largest positive contributions to the coincident index in July. Since January, the coincident index has grown by 1.0 percent (about a 2.0 percent annual rate), about the same average rate in the first two quarters of the year, and all four components contributed to this growth.
  • The six-month growth rate of the leading index picked up in recent months from slower growth in the first quarter of 2007, but it declined slightly in July. During the first half of 2007, real GDP grew at a 1.6 percent average annual rate (including a 1.0 percent annual rate in the second quarter), below the 3.1 percent average annual rate in the second half of 2006. The consistent widespread growth in the leading index so far in 2007 still suggests that moderate economic growth should continue in the near term.

LEADING INDICATORS. Six of the seven components in the leading index increased in July. The positive contributors to the leading index — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — are consumer confidence, new residential construction orders, inventory change series*, yield spread, stock prices, and new orders in investment goods industries. The only negative contributor was gross enterprises and properties income*.

With the 0.1 percent increase in July, the leading index now stands at 99.9 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.5 percent in June and increased 0.1 percent in May. During the six-month span through July, the leading index increased 1.8 percent, with four of the eight components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 64.3 percent).

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

With the 0.3 percent increase in July, the coincident index now stands at 109.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in June and was unchanged in May. During the six-month period through July, the coincident index increased 1.0 percent, with four of the 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 September 21, 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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