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Benchmark Revisions - November 2006

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Released: Monday, March 10, 2003

The Conference Board reports today that the leading index for Japan decreased 0.1 percent while the coincident index increased 0.5 percent in January.

  • The leading index increased in the beginning of 2002, was essentially flat for six months, and has decreased for the last two months.
  • The six-month diffusion index, which measures the proportion of the leading index components that are rising, has fallen below 50.0 percent for that last two months, suggesting that weakness in the index has become more widespread.
  • The coincident index, a measure of current economic activity, bounced back in January, but the weakening in the leading index since mid-2002 suggests that the coincident index and economic activity are likely to be sluggish or even weaken in the first half of 2003.

Leading Indicators. Four of the ten components that make up the leading index increased in January. The positive contributors to the index – from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – are the index of overtime worked in manufacturing, the real money supply, business failures, and dwelling units started. Five components decreased in January. 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*, new orders for machinery and construction*, the Tankan survey, the yield spread, and real operating profits*. The stock price index was unchanged.

With a decrease of 0.1 percent in January the leading index now stands at 90.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.7 percent in December and was unchanged in November. During the six-month span through January, the index decreased 0.7 percent, and four of the ten components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 40.0 percent).

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

With an increase of 0.5 percent in January, the coincident index now stands at 102.2 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.5 percent in December and was flat in November. During the six-month span through January, the index increased 1.1 percent, and five of the six components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 83.3 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 March 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, 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 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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