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Benchmark Revisions - September 2005

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Released: Tuesday, February 17, 2004

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Korea increased 1.3 percent and the coincident index increased 0.3 percent in December.

  • The leading index increased sharply in December, and there were upward revisions to the previous several months (including November’s slight decline being revised to no change). The leading index has increased at a 6.0 percent annual rate from its low in March 2003, and the strength in the leading index has become more widespread in recent months (despite continued large fluctuations in building permits).
  • The coincident index also increased in December, continuing its moderate upward trend from the most recent low in July 2003. A large increase in industrial production, associated with continued strong export demand, contributed to this month’s increase in the coincident index.
  • In line with the coincident index, real GDP picked up to a 3.5 percent annual rate in the third quarter of 2003 following small declines in the first half of the year. The continued strength in the leading index is signaling the possibility of stronger real GDP growth through the first half of 2004.

Leading Indicators.Seven of the eight components that make up the leading index increased in December. The positive contributors - from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – were the (inverted) index of inventories to shipments, authorized building permits, real exports FOB, stock prices, letter of credit arrivals*, monthly hours worked*, and value of machinery orders. The (inverted) yield of government public bonds declined in December.

With the 1.3 percent increase in December, the leading index now stands at 121.2 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in November and increased 0.9 percent in October. During the six-month span through December, the index increased 2.2 percent, with five of its eight components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 62.5 percent).

Coincident Indicators. All four components that make up the coincident index increased in December. The positive contributors - from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – were industrial production, the (inverted) unemployment rate, total employment, and wholesale and retail sales.

With the 0.3 percent increase in December, the coincident index now stands at 111.6 (1990=100). This index increased 0.1 percent in November and increased 0.3 percent in October. During the six-month span through December, the coincident index increased 0.5 percent, with all four components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100.0 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 February 13, 2004.

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. There is no forecasted series in the coincident index.

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

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