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Benchmark Revisions - March 2007

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Released: Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Germany increased 0.3 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) increased 0.1 percent in February.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Germany increased for the third consecutive month in February, with the yield spread and new orders in investment goods industries making the largest positive contributions. Between August 2012 and February 2013, the leading economic index increased by 0.5 percent (about a -1.0 percent annual rate), a large improvement from its decline of 2.5 percent (about a -4.9 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. In addition, the strengths among the leading indicators have been more widespread than the weaknesses in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Germany, a measure of current economic activity, increased again in February. In the six-month period ending in February, the coincident economic index decreased 0.3 percent (about a -0.6 percent annual rate), a reversal from its 0.4 percent increase (about a 0.7 percent annual rate) in the previous six months. During this same period, the strengths and weaknesses among the coincident indicators have been balanced. 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.
         
  • The LEI for Germany continued to increase in February, and for the first time since May 2012 its six-month growth rate is in positive territory. Meanwhile, the CEI for Germany improved for the second consecutive month, after having declined for most of the second half of 2012. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that the German economy could start growing again in the near term.

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

With the 0.3 percent increase in February, The Conference Board LEI for Germany now stands at 103.7 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.4 percent in January and increased 0.5 percent in December. During the six-month span through February, the index increased 0.5 percent, with six of the seven components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 85.7 percent).

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

With the 0.1 percent increase in February, The Conference Board CEI for Germany now stands at 107.1 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in January and decreased 0.2 percent in December. During the six-month period through February, the index decreased 0.3 percent, with two of the four components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 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 April 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.

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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