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Benchmark Revisions - November 2006

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Released: Tuesday, December 9, 2003

The Conference Board reports today that the leading index for Japan increased 0.6 percent and the coincident index increased 0.2 percent in October.

  • The leading index continued its upward trend in October, the sixth consecutive gain, and it has now increased at a 7.4 percent annual rate since April. The strength among leading components continues to be widespread, as shown by the six-month diffusion index staying well over 50 percent.
  • The coincident index, a measure of current economic activity, increased again in October. The improvement in the coincident index over the last two months is consistent with the increases in the leading index and real GDP so far this year.
  • As has been signaled by the pickup in the leading index since April, real GDP growth increased at about a 2.0 percent annual rate in the second and third quarters, up from a 1.5 percent annual rate in the first quarter. The continued widespread strength in the leading index is signaling a further improvement in economic growth in the near term.

Leading Indicators. Nine of the ten components that make up the leading index increased in October. The positive contributors to the index – in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – include the six month growth rate of labor productivity*, business failures, the Tankan business conditions survey, stock prices, dwelling units started, new orders for machinery and construction*, yield spread, (inverted) index of overtime worked, and real money supply. Real operating profits* declined in October.

With an increase of 0.6 percent in October, the leading index now stands at 94.1 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.5 percent in September and increased 0.5 percent again in August. During the six-month span through October, the index increased 3.6 percent, and seven of the ten components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 70.0 percent).

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

With a 0.2 percent increase in October, the coincident index now stands at 101.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.4 percent in September and decreased 0.3 percent in August. During the six-month span through October, the index increased 0.2 percent, and three of the six components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 percent).

Data Availability. The data series used to compute the two composite indexes reported in this release are those available “as of” 5:00 P.M. ET December 8, 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. 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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