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Benchmark Revisions - March 2007

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Released: Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Germany increased 0.6 percent and the coincident index decreased 0.2 percent in October.

  • The leading index rebounded in October after posting large declines in both August and September. New orders for investment goods industries and stock prices were the largest positive contributors in October. The leading index was revised up slightly from June through September primarily as a result of newly released third quarter data for gross enterprises and properties income. As a result of October's increase, the leading index grew by 0.4 percent (about a 0.8 percent annual rate) between April and October, down from a 1.3 percent growth (2.7 percent annual rate) in the previous six-month period. In addition, the strengths among the leading indicators have been slightly more widespread than the weaknesses in recent months.
  • The coincident index decreased this month for the first time since September of 2006, due primarily to a large decline in retail trade. Between April and October, the coincident index increased by 0.5 percent (about a 0.9 percent annual rate), well below the 2.6 percent annual rate of growth the index experienced between October 2006 and April 2007. The strengths among the coincident indicators have been somewhat more widespread than weaknesses in recent months.
  • The leading index has declined slightly since July after growing at a fast pace during the first half of the year. At the same time, real GDP growth has increased from a 1.6 percent average annual rate during the first half of the year (including a 1.0 percent rate in the second quarter), to a 2.8 percent annual rate for the third quarter. The recent behavior of the leading and coincident indexes still suggests that slow to moderate economic growth should continue in the near term.

LEADING INDICATORS. Five of the seven components in the leading index increased in October. 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, consumer confidence, gross enterprises and properties income* and inventory change series*. Negative contributors — in order from largest to smallest — are yield spread, and new residential construction orders*.

With the 0.6 percent increase in October, the leading index now stands at 99.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.9 percent in September and declined 0.4 percent in August. During the six-month span through October, the leading index increased 0.4 percent, with four of the seven components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 57.1 percent).

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

With the 0.2 percent decrease in October, the coincident index now stands at 109.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in September and increased 0.2 percent in August. During the six-month period through October, the coincident index increased 0.5 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 December 17, 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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