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Benchmark Revisions - November 2006

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Released: Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Conference Board reports today that the leading index for Japan increased 0.3 percent, while the coincident index decreased 0.6 percent in March.

  • The leading index increased in March for the third consecutive month. With this month’s increase, the growth rate of the leading index has picked up to about 1.0 – 1.5 percent (annual rate), only slightly below the long-term average. In addition, the strength in the leading index has become somewhat more widespread in the last three months.
  • Real GDP increased at a 0.5 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2004 after declining at a 1.1 percent average rate in the previous two quarters. The recent pickup in the leading index suggests that the economy will continue to grow in the near term, at or slightly higher than the sluggish growth rate in the fourth quarter of 2004.

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

With the increase of 0.3 percent in March, the leading index now stands at 99.1 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in February and increased 0.4 percent in January. During the six-month span through March, the index increased 0.4 percent, and five of ten components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 percent).

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

With the 0.6 percent decline in March, the coincident index now stands at 100.0 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.8 percent in February and increased 1.0 percent in January. During the six-month span through March, the index decreased 0.7 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 May 9, 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, dwelling units started, 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.

Global Indicators

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