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Released: Monday, October 22, 2012

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Germany declined 0.3 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) remained unchanged in August.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Germany declined for a sixth consecutive month in August, as large declines in consumer confidence and new orders in investment goods industries more than offset positive contributions from stock prices and the yield spread. In the six-month period ending August 2012, the leading economic index decreased by 2.4 percent (about a -4.7 percent annual rate), a sharp drop from its 0.3 percent advance (about a 0.6 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. In addition, the weaknesses among the leading indicators have been more widespread than the strengths in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Germany, a measure of current economic activity, remained unchanged in August, as the increase in retail sales offset decreases from industrial production and employment. Between February and August 2012, the coincident economic index increased by 0.3 percent (about a 0.6 percent annual rate), slightly slower than its 0.4 percent increase (about a 0.8 percent annual rate) during the prior six months. In addition, the strengths among the coincident indicators have been more widespread than the weaknesses 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.  
  • The LEI for Germany has been on a downward trend for six months, and the weaknesses among the indicators remain widespread. Meanwhile, the CEI for Germany has increased slightly in recent months, and its six-month growth rate is still positive. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes for Germany suggests that although economic activity may continue to expand modestly in the near term, the risks of further weakening are increasing.

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

With the 0.3 percent decrease in August, The Conference Board LEI for Germany now stands at 102.3 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index declined 0.2 percent in July and 0.4 percent in June.  During the six-month span through August, the index decreased 2.4 percent, with two of the seven components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 28.6 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS.  One of the four components that make up The Conference Board CEI for Germany increased in August. Retail trade was the only positive contributor.  Industrial production and employed persons declined in August, while manufacturing sales was unchanged.

After remaining unchanged in August, The Conference Board CEI for Germany now stands at 107.2 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in July and remained unchanged in June.  During the six-month period through August, the index increased 0.3 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 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 October 18, 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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