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Benchmark Revisions - September 2005

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Released: Monday, January 10, 2005

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Korea increased 0.9 percent, while the coincident index increased 0.1 percent in November.

  • • The leading index increased sharply in November, but October’s slight increase was revised down to a small decline, as actual data for the monthly work hour component became available. The stock price index, letter of credit arrivals, and export components were the main contributors to this month’s gain in the leading index. Although the slightly positive and somewhat more widespread growth in the leading index in recent months is an improvement from a decline in the previous two quarters, the leading index is still weak compared to the very rapid growth through the first quarter of 2004.
  • At the same time, real GDP growth slowed to a 2.7 percent average annual rate during the first three quarters of 2004, down from very strong growth in the second half of 2003. The current behavior of the leading index suggests that this sluggish rate of economic growth is likely to persist in the near term.

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

With the 0.9 percent increase in November, the leading index now stands at 122.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.3 percent in October and decreased 0.2 percent in September. During the six-month span through November, the leading index increased 0.5 percent, with four of the eight components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 56.3 percent).

Coincident Indicators.Two of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in November. The positive contributors - from the larger positive contributor to smaller – were industrial production and total employment. Wholesale and retail sales and the (inverted) unemployment rate were unchanged in November.

With the 0.1 percent increase in November, the coincident index now stands at 111.9 (1990=100). This index held steady in October and increased 0.4 percent in September. During the six-month span through November, the coincident index increased 0.3 percent, with three of the four components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 87.5 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 January 7, 2005.

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