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Released: Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Japan increased 1.2 percent, and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index®  (CEI) increased 0.2 percent in September.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Japan rose substantially in September. New orders for machinery and construction, stock prices and dwelling units started made the largest positive contributions to the index this month. With September’s increase, the leading economic index has risen by 4.3 percent (about an 8.7 percent annual rate) from March to September 2013, slightly higher than the growth of 3.9 percent (about a 7.9 percent annual rate) in the previous six months. Moreover, the strengths among the leading indicators continued to be very widespread.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Japan also increased in September after declining in the third quarter of 2013, with the number of employed persons and industrial production making the largest positive contributions. The six-month growth rate of the coincident index has been flat in the recent months, but the strengths among the coincident indicators have become more widespread. At the same time, real GDP grew at a 3.8 percent annual rate in the second quarter of 2013.
  • The September increase in The Conference Board LEI for Japan followed three months of weak improvements. As a result, the index’s six-month growth rate remained lower than the first half of this year. At the same time, the Conference Board CEI improved only modestly and its six-month growth rate was flat. Taken together, the behavior of the LEI and CEI suggests that the pace of economic growth is not likely to accelerate in the final stretch of 2013.

LEADING INDICATORS.  Nine of the ten components that make up The Conference Board LEI for Japan increased in September.  The positive contributors to the index – in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – include the new orders for machinery and construction component*, stock prices, dwelling units started, the six-month growth rate of labor productivity*, (inverted) business failures, the Tankan business conditions survey, the interest rate spread, real money supply, and real operating profits*.  The index of overtime worked remained unchanged in September.

With the increase of 1.2 percent in September, The Conference Board LEI for Japan now stands at 100.1 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in August and increased 0.3 percent in July.  During the six-month span through September, the index increased 4.3 percent, and all ten components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100.0 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS.  Three of the four components that make up The Conference Board CEI for Japan increased in September. The positive contributors to the index – in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – include number of employed persons, industrial production and the retail, wholesale, and manufacturing sales* component.  Wage and salary income declined in September.

With the increase of 0.2 percent in September, The Conference Board CEI for Japan now stands at 96.8 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in August and increased 0.1 percent in July.  During the six-month span through September, the index remained the same, and three of the four components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).

DATA AVAILABILITY AND NOTES.  The data series used to compute The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Japan and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for Japan reported in this release are those available “as of” 10:00 A.M. ET November 12, 2013.  Some series are estimated as noted below.

* The series in The Conference Board LEI that are based on our estimates are real operating profits, the six month growth rate of labor productivity and new orders for machinery.  The series in The Conference Board CEI that is based on our estimates is real manufacturing sales.

THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.

Global Indicators

StraightTalk®

Straight Talk November 2013

StraightTalk® Global Economic Outlook 2014: Time to realize the opportunities for growth

From the Chief Economist

U.S. growth continues at moderate pace with momentum beginning to lose some steam

GDP is projected to grow by 2.0 percent in 2014 with the second half of this year revised lower from an average of a 2.8 percent pace to about 2.5 percent pace.

Read the article
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