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Released: Monday, April 23, 2012

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Germany increased 0.4 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) decreased 0.1 percent in February.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Germany increased in February 2012 for a third consecutive month, with stock prices and new residential construction orders making the largest contributions to the increase. As a result of the recent gains, in February the leading economic index returned to its level six month ago, improving from a 0.9 percent decrease (about a -1.7 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. However, the weaknesses among the leading indicators were slightly more widespread than the strengths in the last six months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Germany, a measure of current economic activity, decreased slightly in February after a large increase in January.  Between August 2011 and February 2012, the coincident economic index increased 0.3 percent (about a 0.6 percent annual rate), slowing from the 0.7 percent increase (about a 1.3 percent annual rate) between February 2011 and August 2011. In addition, the strengths and weaknesses among the coincident indicators have become balanced in recent months. Meanwhile, real GDP contracted at a 0.7 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2011, after an increase of 2.3 percent (annual rate) in the third quarter.
  • The Conference Board LEI for Germany continued improving in February, though more slowly than it had during the previous two months. While its six-month growth rate climbed out of negative territory for the first time in seven months on the strength of financial and housing construction indicators, a slight majority of its components declined during this period. Meanwhile, the Conference Board CEI for Germany fell modestly this month. The improvement in the LEI suggests that the risk of a deep and prolonged contraction in economic activity may be decreasing.

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

With the 0.4 percent increase in February, The Conference Board LEI for Germany now stands at 104.5 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.8 percent in January and increased 0.7 percent in December.  During the six-month span through February, the index remained unchanged, with three of the seven components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 42.9 percent).

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

With the 0.1 percent decrease in February, The Conference Board CEI for Germany now stands at 106.8 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.5 percent in January and decreased 0.1 percent in December.  During the six-month period through February, the index increased 0.3 percent, with two of the four components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 percent).

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE BOARDThe 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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Straight Talk November 2013

StraightTalk® Global Economic Outlook 2014: Time to realize the opportunities for growth

From the Chief Economist

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