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Benchmark Revisions - September 2005

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Released: Wednesday, July 14, 2004

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Korea decreased 1.2 percent and the coincident index decreased 0.3 percent in May.

  • The leading index fell sharply in May, but this decline reflects ongoing month-to-month volatility (and it was partially offset by an upward revision to April). Among the components, the stock price index was the largest contributor to this month’s weakness. The growth rate of the leading index has slowed to the 3.0 to 4.0 percent range (annual rate) so far this year, and the strength has become somewhat less widespread.
  • Real GDP growth has been fluctuating around a 7.0 percent annual rate since the middle of 2003, but the slower growth of the leading index so far this year is signaling some moderation in economic activity in the near term.

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

With the 1.2 percent decrease in May, the leading index now stands at 122.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 1.1 percent in April and decreased 0.6 percent in March. During the six-month span through May, the index increased 1.9 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 decreased in May. The negative contributors - from the largest negative contributor to smallest – were total employment, wholesale and retail sales, and the (inverted) unemployment rate. Industrial production increased in May.

With the 0.3 percent decrease in May, the coincident index now stands at 111.5 (1990=100). This index decreased 0.1 percent in April and decreased 0.4 percent in March. During the six-month span through May, the coincident index increased 0.4 percent, with three of the four 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 July 13, 2004.

Notes: The series in the leading index based on The Conference Board’s estimates are monthly hours worked. 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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