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Released: Friday, September 21, 2012

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

  • The Conference Board LEI for Germany advanced slightly in July, after four consecutive monthly declines, as large positive contributions from stock prices and new residential construction orders more than offset the negative contribution from consumer confidence. However, the index was revised downward between March and June after second quarter data for both gross enterprises and properties income and inventory change became available. In the six-month period ending July 2012, the leading economic index decreased by 1.6 percent (about a -3.2 percent annual rate), slightly slower than its 2.2 percent contraction (about a -4.4 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. Meanwhile, the weaknesses among the leading indicators have become more widespread than the strengths in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Germany, a measure of current economic activity, increased modestly in July, as industrial production made the largest positive contribution. Between January and July 2012, the coincident economic index increased by 0.4 percent (about a 0.8 percent annual rate), faster than its 0.2 percent increase (about a 0.4 percent annual rate) during the prior six months. In addition, the strengths and weaknesses among the coincident indicators have become balanced in recent months. Meanwhile, real GDP increased at a 1.1 percent annual rate during the second quarter of 2012, after growing at a 2.0 percent annual rate in the first quarter.  
  • In July, the LEI for Germany increased for the first time in five months, after decreasing throughout the second quarter.  However, these recent declines have pulled its six-month growth rate into negative territory. Meanwhile, the CEI for Germany continued to increase at a modest rate, and its six-month growth rate is still positive. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes for Germany suggests that economic activity will continue to expand in the near term, though the pace will likely be slow.

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

With the 0.1 percent increase in July, The Conference Board LEI for Germany now stands at 102.6 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.5 percent in June and declined 0.8 percent in May. During the six-month span through July, the index decreased 1.6 percent, with three of the seven components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 42.9 percent).

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

With the 0.1 percent increase in July, The Conference Board CEI for Germany now stands at 107.2 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in June and increased 0.1 percent in May. During the six-month period through July, the index increased 0.4 percent, with two of the four components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 percent).

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 September 18, 2012. Some series are estimated as noted below.

*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.

NOTE: Beginning with this release, several data series in both The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the Germany and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the Germany will now be provided by Haver Analytics, and not Thomson Reuters DataStream. As a result, some data series have been revised, but these changes do not affect the overall cyclical properties of the indexes.  For more information about these changes please contact
indicators@conferenceboard.org

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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