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Benchmark Revisions - September 2005

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Released: Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Korea declined 0.8 percent, while the coincident index increased 0.3 percent in March.

  • The leading index fell in March following five consecutive gains and the weakness among the leading index components in March was widespread. But, the level of the leading index is still well above January and the strengths among the leading indicators have been widespread in the period from September to March. In addition, the growth rate of the leading index continued to fluctuate in the 6.0 – 7.0 percent annual rate range in recent months.
  • The coincident index increased slightly in March, offsetting its slight decline in February. Despite short term fluctuations, it is still on a slightly rising trend. At the same time, real GDP grew at a 5.1 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2006, down from the 6.7 percent average rate in the second half of 2005, but up from the 4.0 percent average rate in the first half of 2005. The behavior in the leading index in recent months still suggests strong economic growth should continue in the near term.

LEADING INDICATORSOne of the seven components that make up the leading index increased in March. The positive contributor was real exports FOB. Letter of credit arrivals, value of machinery orders, private construction orders, the (inverted) index of inventories to shipments, stock prices, and the (inverted) yield of government public bonds declined in March.

With the 0.8 percent decrease in March, the leading index now stands at 151.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 1.5 percent in February and increased 0.7 percent in January. During the six-month span through March, the leading index increased 3.1 percent, with six of the seven components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 83.3 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORSThree of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in March. The positive contributors to the leading index – in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – were the wholesale and retail sales component, monthly cash earnings, and industrial production. Total employment declined in March.

With the 0.3 percent increase in March, the coincident index now stands at 162.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.3 percent in February and increased 0.6 percent in January. During the six-month span through March, the coincident index increased 1.7 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 10, 2006.

* The series in the coincident index based on The Conference Board's estimates is monthly cash earnings. There is no forecasted series in the leading index.

THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.

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