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Benchmark Revisions - September 2005

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Released: Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Korea increased 0.3 percent and the coincident index increased 0.2 percent in March.

  • The leading index increased in March following a large decline in February, but this was preceded by very large increases in the previous three months. As a result, the leading index has increased at about a 4.0-5.0 percent annual rate since October 2004, 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 strength in the leading index in recent months suggests that the economy should continue to grow in the near term, at or perhaps slightly higher than the rate reported in the second half of 2004.

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

With the 0.3 percent increase in March, the leading index now stands at 125.1 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 1.0 percent in February and increased 1.9 percent in January. During the six-month span through March, the leading index increased 2.3 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 March. The positive contributors - from the larger positive contributor to smaller – were industrial production, wholesale and retail sales, and total employment. The (inverted) unemployment rate was unchanged in March.

With the increase of 0.2 percent in March, the coincident index now stands at 112.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index was unchanged in February and increased 0.1 percent in January. During the six-month span through March, the coincident index increased 0.4 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 May 11, 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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