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Benchmark Revisions - November 2006

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Released: Thursday, October 7, 2004

The Conference Board reports today that the leading index for Japan decreased 0.3 percent and the coincident index increased 0.2 percent in August.

  • The leading index fell in August following no change in July. However, there were large upward revisions to the previous several months. As a result, the growth rate of the leading index has picked up to a 5.0-7.0 percent annual rate after falling slightly in the first quarter of 2004. In addition, growth in the leading index has continued to be widespread.
  • Real GDP growth slowed suddenly to a 1.3 percent annual rate in the second quarter of 2004, down from an average rate of 7.0 percent over the preceding two quarters. The recent pick up in the growth rate of the leading index suggests that economic growth will strengthen from the second quarter’s sluggish pace.

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

With the decrease of 0.3 percent in August, the leading index now stands at 98.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index remained steady in July and increased 1.1 percent in June. During the six-month span through August, the index increased 2.0 percent, and seven of 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 August. The positive contributors to the index – in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – include number of employed persons, industrial production, wage and salary income*, and real manufacturing sales*. Real retail sales remained steady, while real wholesale sales declined in August.

With the increase of 0.2 percent in August, the coincident index now stands at 100.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in July and remained unchanged in June. During the six-month span through August, the index decreased 0.5 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 October 6, 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 six month growth rate of labor productivity. 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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