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Benchmark Revisions - November 2006

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Released: Tuesday, March 9, 2004

The Conference Board reports today that the leading index for Japan increased 0.4 percent and the coincident index increased 0.6 percent in January.

  • The leading index increased for the ninth consecutive month in January. In addition, there were large upward revisions to previous months because of data revisions and as actual data became available. As a result, the leading index now increased at an almost 9.0 percent annual rate from its most recent low in April, and this strength continues to be widespread.
  • The coincident index increased significantly again in January 2004, and because of upward revisions it has now increased at a 4.5 percent annual rate from its most recent low in August 2003. The pick up in the coincident index is now consistent with real GDP, which increased at a 2.9 percent annual rate in the first half of 2003 and a 4.8 percent rate in the second half. The widespread strength in the leading index through January 2004 is signaling a continuation of strong economic growth through the first half of the year.

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

With an increase of 0.4 percent in January, the leading index now stands at 96.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.5 percent in December and increased 0.9 percent in November. During the six-month span through January, the index increased 4.2 percent, and all ten components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100.0 percent).

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

With a 0.6 percent increase in January, the coincident index now stands at 103.1 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.4 percent in December and decreased 0.3 percent in November. During the six-month span through January, the index increased 1.5 percent, and four of the six components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 66.7 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 March 8, 2004. 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 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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