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Benchmark Revisions - November 2006

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Released: Wednesday, October 16, 2002

The leading index for Japan decreased 0.1 percent and the coincident index increased 0.4 percent in August.

  • After seven consecutive monthly increases, the leading index declined modestly in August, but still remains 5.5 percent above its most recent low from January of this year. Continued weakness in the financial sector along with a sharp drop in dwelling units started drove the index down this month.
  • After a very long period of persistent weakness, the coincident index made its largest gain in almost a year. A strong rebounds in production and sales were the primary reasons for the increase in the index in August.

Leading Indicators. Five of the ten components that make up the leading index decreased in August. The negative contributors to the index – from the largest negative contributor to the smallest - are dwelling units started, the stock price index, new orders for machinery and construction, the yield spread, and inverted business failures. The remaining five components increased in August. The positive contributors to the index – in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest - are the index of overtime worked in manufacturing, the six-month growth rate of labor productivity per man-hour in manufacturing, real money supply, the Tankan business conditions survey, and real operating profits*.

With the decrease of 0.1 percent, the leading index now stands at 91.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in July and increased 0.5 percent in June. During the six-month span through August, the index increased 4.8 percent, and six of the ten components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 60.0 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Four of the six components that make up the coincident index increased in August. The positive contributors – in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – are real retail sales, the industrial production index, the index of wage and salary income, and real wholesale sales. Number of employed persons and real manufacturing sales decreased in August, in that order.

Increasing 0.4 percent in August, the coincident index now stands at 101.2 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.2 percent in July and decreased 0.1 percent in June. During the six-month span through August, the index decreased 0.3 percent, and two of the six components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 33.3 percent).

Data Availability. The data series used to compute the two composite indexes reported in this release are those available “as of” 10:00 A.M. ET October 15, 2002. Some series are estimated as noted below.

*Notes: The series in the leading index that is based on The Conference Board estimates is real operating profits. The series in the coincident index that is based on The Conference Board estimates is real manufacturing sales.

THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.

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