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Benchmark Revisions - November 2006

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Released: Tuesday, February 11, 2003

The Conference Board reports today that both the leading and coincident indexes for Japan decreased 0.3 percent in December.

  • The 0.3 percent decrease in December reflects a continuing decline in the momentum of the leading index and halts the upward trend in the six-month growth rate that had reached 5.4 percent in June 2002.
  • The six-month diffusion index, which measures the proportion of the leading index components that are rising, was below 40.0 percent. This suggests that the weakness in this index is becoming widespread. Coupled with the declining leading index, this suggests a slowdown in the pace of economic activity in the first half of 2003.
  • The coincident index, a measure of current economic activity, declined in the last two months, and returned to its July 2002 level.

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

The leading index now stands at 91.1 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in November and increased 0.3 percent in October. During the six-month span through December, the index decreased 0.3 percent, and four of the ten components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 40.0 percent).

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

With a decrease of 0.3 percent in December, the coincident index now stands at 101.1 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in November and increased 0.2 percent in October. During the six-month span through December, the index increased 0.1 percent, and two of the six components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 41.7 percent).

Coincident Indicators. The data series used to compute the two composite indexes reported in this release are those available “as of” 10:00 A.M. ET February 7, 2003. Some series are estimated as noted below.

*Notes: The series in the leading index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are real operating profits, dwelling units started, business failures, the six-month growth rate of labor productivity, and new orders for machinery and construction. The series in the coincident index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are real manufacturing sales, real wholesale sales, and wage and salary income.

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

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