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Benchmark Revisions - September 2005

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Released: Tuesday, June 17, 2003

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Korea declined 1.4 percent and the coincident index decreased 0.1 percent in April.

  • The leading index declined sharply in April after fluctuating around a flat trend in recent months. However, it is still too early to tell whether this is the beginning of a downward trend.
  • Most of the weakness in the leading indicators was concentrated in the (inverted) inventory-to-shipments component, which reversed its gains over the past two months. (Part of this decline is due to seasonality in this series.) Despite the drop in the leading index, the weakness in the leading indicators has become less widespread in the last three months.
  • The coincident index, a measure of current economic conditions, declined in April, marking its third consecutive decline this year. The weakness has become more widespread, and over the last six months this index has been flat, consistent with the current sluggishness in the Korean economy.

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

The leading index now stands at 115.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in March and increased 0.9 percent in February. During the six-month span through April, the index decreased 0.3 percent, with only one of its eight components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 12.5 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Two of the four components that make up the coincident index decreased in April. The negative contributors to the index - from the larger negative contributor to the smaller – are total employment and industrial production. The inverted unemployment rate was unchanged during April, and wholesale and retail sales was the only positive contributor to the index.

With the decrease of 0.1 percent in April, the coincident index now stands at 111.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.3 percent in March and decreased 0.1 percent in February. During the six-month span through April, the coincident index was unchanged, with two of its components not advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 37.5 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 June 13, 2003.

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

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

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