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Benchmark Revisions - September 2005

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Released: Thursday, April 7, 2005

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Korea decreased 0.5 percent, and the coincident index was unchanged in February.

  • The leading index declined in February, but this decline follows very large increases in the previous three months (which were revised down slightly). As a result, the growth rate of the leading index has picked up to about a 4.0-5.0 percent (annual rate) in recent months despite February’s decline, and this growth has been relatively widespread among the leading indicators.
  • Real GDP growth picked up to a 3.5 percent average annual rate in the second half of 2004 from 2.5 percent in the first of the year, but this is still well below the very strong growth in the second half of 2003. The recent pickup in the growth rate of the leading index suggests that the economy should continue to grow in the near term, at or perhaps somewhat higher than the pace during the second half of 2004.

Leading Indicators. Three 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 stock prices, real exports FOB, and monthly hours worked*. The (inverted) index of inventories to shipment, the (inverted) yield of government public bonds, authorized building permits, value of machinery orders, and letter of credit arrivals declined in February.

With the 0.5 percent decline in February, the leading index now stands at 125.3 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 1.8 percent in January and increased 0.7 percent in December. During the six-month span through February, the leading index increased 2.6 percent, with five of the eight components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 62.5 percent).

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

Holding steady in February, the coincident index now stands at 111.9 (1990=100). This index increased 0.2 percent in January and declined 0.2 percent in December. During the six-month span through February, the coincident index increased 0.4 percent, with all 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 April 6, 2005.

Notes: The series in the leading index based on The Conference Board’s estimates is 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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