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Released: Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Germany increased 0.1 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) decreased 0.2 percent in September.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Germany increased slightly in September, its first gain since February of this year.  Positive contributions from stock prices and the yield spread more than offset the negative contributions of new orders for investment goods industries and consumer confidence.  In the six-month period ending September 2012, the leading economic index decreased by 2.0 percent (about a -4.0 percent annual rate), a reversal from its 1.8 percent increase (about a 3.7 percent annual rate) during the previous six months.  In addition, the weaknesses among the leading indicators have been slightly more widespread than the strengths in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Germany, a measure of current economic activity, decreased in September, its second decline in the past six months. Between March and September 2012, the coincident economic index decreased by 0.4 percent (about a -0.8 percent annual rate), a turnaround from its 0.8 percent increase (about a 1.5 percent annual rate) between September 2011 and March 2012. However, the strengths and weaknesses among the coincident indicators have been balanced in recent months. Meanwhile, real GDP increased at a 0.9 percent annual rate during the third quarter of 2012, decelerating from a 1.1 percent annual rate during the second quarter and a 2.0 percent annual rate in the first quarter.
  • Despite this month’s increase, the LEI for Germany has been on a downward trend for most of 2012. Meanwhile, the CEI for Germany has fallen back to its level in April.  Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes for Germany suggests that although modest growth in real GDP may continue in the fourth quarter, the economy is more likely to weaken rather than strengthen in the near term. 

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

With the 0.1 percent increase in September, The Conference Board LEI for Germany now stands at 102.6 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in August and declined 0.2 percent in July.  During the six-month span through September, the index decreased 2.0 percent, with three of the seven components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 42.9 percent).

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

With the 0.2 percent decrease in September, The Conference Board CEI for Germany now stands at 106.9 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in both August and July.  During the six-month period through September, the index decreased 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 November 16, 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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