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Benchmark Revisions - September 2005

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Released: Monday, April 12, 2004

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Korea increased 1.0 percent and the coincident index increased 0.3 percent in February.

  • The leading index increased sharply in February following a slight decline in January, but the index has been volatile from month to month because of fluctuations in building permits and the inventory to shipment ratio. The leading index has increased at a 6.5 percent annual rate from its recent low in March 2003, and by an even stronger 8.5 percent rate over the last five months.
  • The coincident index increased for the third consecutive month in February, and has now increased at about a 2.5 percent annual rate from the most recent low in July 2003. Real GDP increased at a 9.0 percent annual rate in the second half of 2003, up sharply from a small decline in the first half of the year. The continued widespread strength in the leading index is signaling that strong economic growth should persist at least through the first half of 2004.

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

With the 1.0 percent increase in February, the leading index now stands at 122.9 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in January and increased 1.5 percent in December. During the six-month span through February, the index increased 3.2 percent, with six of its eight components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).

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

With the 0.3 percent increase in February, the coincident index now stands at 112.4 (1990=100). This index increased 0.5 percent in January and increased 0.4 percent in December. During the six-month span through February, the coincident index increased 1.4 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 April 9, 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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