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Benchmark Revisions - March 2007

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Released: Thursday, January 24, 2013

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This month's release incorporates annual benchmark revisions to the composite economic indexes. These regular benchmark revisions bring the indexes up-to-date with revisions in the source data, but do not change the cyclical properties of the indexes. The indexes are updated throughout the year, but only for the previous six months. Data revisions that fall outside of the moving six-month window are incorporated when the benchmark revision is made and the entire histories of the indexes are recomputed. As a result, the revised indexes and their month-over-month changes will no longer be directly comparable to those issued prior to the benchmark revision.

For more information, please visit our website at
www.conference-board.org/data/bci.cfm or contact indicators@conference-board.org.

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The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Germany and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) both remained unchanged in November.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Germany remained unchanged in November after increasing moderately in October. Large positive contributions from the yield spread, new residential construction orders, and inventory change offset negative contributions from consumer confidence, stock prices, and gross enterprises and properties income. In the six-month period ending November 2012, the leading economic index decreased by 1.1 percent (about a -2.1 percent annual rate), down from its increase of 0.5 percent (about 1.0 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. However, the strengths among the leading indicators have become slightly more widespread than the weaknesses in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Germany, a measure of current economic activity, was also unchanged, following three consecutive monthly decreases. Between May and November 2012, the coincident economic index decreased by 0.5 percent (about a -0.9 percent annual rate), a reversal from its 0.5 percent increase (about a 0.9 percent annual rate) in the previous six months. At the same time, the weaknesses among the coincident indicators have been more widespread than the strengths in recent months. Meanwhile, real GDP increased at a 0.9 percent annual rate during the third quarter of 2012, slowing from 1.1 percent (annual rate) in the second quarter, and 2.0 percent (annual rate) in the first quarter.
  • The LEI has improved slightly over the last two months, but its six month growth rate is still in negative territory. Meanwhile, the six-month growth rate for the CEI remains in negative territory with most of the coincident indicators declining over the past six months. Taken together, the behavior of both the leading and coincident indexes suggests that economic activity is unlikely to strengthen over the near term.

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

After remaining unchanged in November, The Conference Board LEI for Germany now stands at 103.1 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.5 percent in October and declined 0.6 percent in September. During the six-month span through November, the index decreased 1.1 percent, with four of the seven components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 57.1 percent).

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

After remaining unchanged in November, The Conference Board CEI for Germany now stands at 106.7 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.3 percent in October and decreased 0.3 percent in September. During the six-month period through November, the index decreased 0.5 percent, with one of the four components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 12.5 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 January 18, 2013.  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.

Starting with the January 2013 release, The Conference Board is using the level of the interest rate spread, rather than its monthly change, to calculate the one and six-month diffusion indexes of The Conference Board LEI for Germany.

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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