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Released: Tuesday, July 24, 2012

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

  • The Conference Board LEI for Germany decreased again in May, as stock prices and new residential construction orders* made large negative contributions. However, in the six-month period ending May 2012, the leading economic index increased by 1.7 percent (about a 3.3 percent annual rate), a reversal from its 3.7 percent decrease (about a -7.2 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. In addition, the strengths among the leading indicators have been very widespread in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Germany, a measure of current economic activity, increased slightly in May, as industrial production and employed persons improved, offsetting declining manufacturing and retail trade. Between November 2011 and May 2012, the coincident economic index increased 0.7 percent (about a 1.3 percent annual rate), faster than its 0.3 percent increase (about a 0.6 percent annual rate) between May 2011 and November 2011. In addition, the strengths and weaknesses among the coincident indicators have been balanced in recent months. Meanwhile, real GDP increased at a 2.1 percent annual rate during the first quarter of 2012, after contracting 0.7 percent (annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2011.  
  • The Conference Board LEI for Germany decreased for the second consecutive month, though its six-month growth rate remains in positive territory because of earlier gains. Meanwhile, The Conference Board CEI for Germany edged up in May, its fourth increase in five months. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes for Germany suggests that economic activity will probably continue to expand, though the rate of growth may moderate in the near term.

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

With the 0.1 percent decrease in May, The Conference Board LEI for Germany now stands at 104.3 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.5 percent in April and increased 0.2 percent in March. During the six-month span through May, the index increased 1.7 percent, with six of the seven components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 92.9 percent).

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

With the 0.1 percent increase in May, The Conference Board CEI for Germany now stands at 107.2 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.2 percent in April and increased 0.3 percent in March. During the six-month period through May, the index increased 0.7 percent, with two of the four components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 percent).

* See notes under data availability.

DATA AVAILABILITY The data series used to compute The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Germany and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for Germany reported in this release are those available “as of” 10:00 A.M. ET July 19, 2012.  Some series are estimated as noted below.

NOTES: Series in The Conference Board LEI for Germany that are based on our estimates are inventory change, new residential construction orders, and gross enterprises and properties income.

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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