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Benchmark Revisions - November 2006

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Released: Tuesday, March 8, 2005

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

  • The leading index was unchanged in January, the third consecutive month with no change. As a result, the leading index has been fluctuating around a flat trend since the middle of 2004, and the strength in the leading index has become less widespread. This flat trend is down from a 5.0 percent growth rate in the first half of the 2004, but the long-term average growth rate of the leading index is only about 1.5 percent.
  • At the same time, real GDP has declined for the last three quarters of 2004, at a 0.8 percent average annual rate, down from average growth of about 4.0 percent over the previous year. The flatness of the leading index since the middle of 2004 suggests that the economy will grow in coming quarters, but probably at a very sluggish pace.

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

Holding steady in January, the leading index now stands at 99.1 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index was unchanged in both December and November. During the six-month span through January, the index declined 0.4 percent, and four of 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 to the index – in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – include number of employed persons, real retail sales, industrial production, wage and salary income*, and real manufacturing sales*. Real wholesale sales declined in January.

With the 0.6 percent increase in January, the coincident index now stands at 101.0 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index was unchanged in December and decreased 0.3 percent in November. During the six-month span through January, the index remained steady, 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 March 7, 2005. 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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