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Released: Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Germany increased 0.3 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) decreased 0.2 percent in December.

 

  • The Conference Board LEI for Germany increased in December 2011 for a third consecutive month. All components made positive contributions to the increase, with the largest coming from new orders in investment goods industries. Despite the recent increases, in the six-month period ending December 2011, the leading economic index decreased by 2.6 percent (about a -5.2 percent annual rate), a reversal from its 2.4 percent increase (about a 4.9 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. In addition, the weaknesses among the leading indicators have remained widespread in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Germany, a measure of current economic activity, decreased in December after remaining flat for three months.  Between June and December 2011, the coincident economic index remained unchanged, slowing from its 1.2 percent increase (about a 2.5 percent annual rate) during the first half of 2011. In addition, the weaknesses among the coincident indicators have become widespread in recent months. Meanwhile, real GDP contracted at a 0.7 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2011, after growth of 2.3 percent (annual rate) in the third quarter. 
  • In December, The Conference Board LEI for Germany continued its fourth-quarter improvement after falling sharply in August and September. However, its six-month growth rate remained near its lowest level since May 2009. Meanwhile, the Conference Board CEI for Germany declined this month and was flat during the second half of 2011. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that economic activity will remain weak in the near term.

LEADING INDICATORS.  All components in The Conference Board LEI for Germany increased in December. The positive contributors — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — were new orders in investment goods industries, new residential construction orders*, the yield spread, consumer confidence, inventory change*, stock prices, and gross enterprises and properties income*.

With the 0.3 percent increase in December, The Conference Board LEI for Germany now stands at 103.9 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in November and increased 0.3 percent in October.  During the six-month span through December, the index decreased 2.6 percent, with two of the seven components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 28.6 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS.  Three of the four components that make up The Conference Board CEI for Germany increased in December. The positive contributors were employed persons, manufacturing sales, and retail trade.  Industrial production declined in December.

With the 0.2 percent decrease in December, The Conference Board CEI for Germany now stands at 106.3 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged from September to November.  During the six-month period through December, the index remained unchanged, with one of the four components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 25.0 percent).

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE BOARD

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world’s leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.

THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.

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