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Benchmark Revisions - September 2005

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Released: Monday, March 17, 2003

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Korea decreased 0.9 percent and the coincident index increased 0.1 percent in January.

  • The leading index fell for the first time in the last five months, but it is still 0.4 percent above its level six months ago. The sharp decline in this index in January was largely due to a fall in stock prices and a drop in the (inverted) index of inventories to shipments.
  • Despite slowing growth in the leading index, the weakness in the leading indicators has not become widespread as shown by the six-month diffusion index remaining at or above 50 percent in each of the last six months.
  • The coincident index, a measure of current economic conditions, increased in January for the second consecutive month after staying essentially flat through the second half of 2002.

Leading Indicators. Four of the eight components that make up the leading index decreased in January. The negative contributors – from the largest negative contributor to the smallest – are the inverted index of inventories to shipments for manufacturing, stock prices, the value of machinery orders in manufacturing and real exports. The positive contributors - from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – are the inverted yield of government public bonds, authorized building permits*, and letter of credit arrivals in manufacturing*. The monthly hours worked* component was unchanged during the month of January.

With the decrease of 0.1 percent in January, the leading index now stands at 115.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in December and increased 0.3 percent in November. During the six-month span through January, the index increased 0.4 percent, and six of the eight components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Three of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in January. The positive contributors to the index - from the largest positive contributor to the smallest - are wholesale and retail sales, total employment and industrial production. The only negative contributor to the index was the inverted unemployment rate.

With the increase of 0.1 percent in January, the coincident index now stands at 111.9 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.4 percent in December and was unchanged in November. During the six-month span through January, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent, with three of its components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).

Data Availability. The data series used to compute the two composite indexes reported in this release are those available “as of” 10 A.M. (ET) on March 14, 2003.

*Notes: The series in the leading index based on The Conference Board’s estimates are monthly hours worked, letter of credit arrivals in manufacturing and authorized building permits.

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

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