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Released: Friday, February 22, 2013

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Germany increased 0.5 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) decreased 0.1 percent in December.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Germany increased in December as the stock price index and new orders from investment goods industries made the largest positive contributions. Between June and December 2012, the leading economic index decreased by 0.2 percent (about a -0.4 percent annual rate), slower than its decline of 0.8 percent (about a -1.5 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. In addition, the weaknesses among the leading indicators have become slightly more widespread than the strengths in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Germany, a measure of current economic activity, declined slightly in December. During the second half of 2012, the coincident economic index decreased by 0.6 percent (about a -1.1 percent annual rate), a reversal from its 0.5 percent increase (about a 0.9 percent annual rate) in the first half of the year. Additionally, the weaknesses among the coincident indicators have been more widespread than the strengths in recent months. Meanwhile, real GDP contracted by 2.3 percent (annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2012, the first contraction since the fourth quarter of 2011.
  • Though the LEI for Germany has increased in two of the past three months, its six-month growth rate remains in negative territory. Meanwhile, the CEI for Germany has mostly declined since July. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that the German economy is likely to remain weak in the near term.

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

With the 0.5 percent increase in December, The Conference Board LEI for Germany now stands at 103.5 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index declined 0.1 percent in November and increased 0.5 percent in October.  During the six-month span through December, the index decreased 0.2 percent, with three of the seven components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 42.9 percent).

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

With the 0.1 percent decrease in December, The Conference Board CEI for Germany now stands at 106.6 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in November and decreased 0.3 percent in October.  During the six-month period through December, the index decreased 0.6 percent, with one of the four components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 25.0 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 February 19, 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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