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Benchmark Revisions - September 2005

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Released: Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Korea remained unchanged and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for Korea increased 0.3 percent in January.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Korea was unchanged in January following a gain in December.  A very large decline in value of machinery orders was balanced by positive contributions from stock prices, private construction orders, and exports. Between July 2011 and January 2012, the leading economic index declined by 0.7 percent (about a -1.3 percent annual rate), faster than the decline of 0.1 percent (about a -0.2 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. Moreover, the weaknesses among the leading indicators have been slightly more widespread than the strengths in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Korea, a measure of current economic activity, increased in January and has increased in five of the last six months.  The coincident economic index increased by 1.4 percent (about a 2.8 percent annual rate) between July 2011 and January 2012, below the 1.9 percent increase (about a 3.9 percent annual rate) during the previous six months.  Nevertheless, the strengths among the coincident indicators have remained widespread in recent months. At the same time, real GDP grew at a 1.4 percent (annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2011, down from the 3.3 percent growth (annual rate) in the third quarter this year. 
  • The Conference Board LEI for Korea has been fluctuating around a moderate downward trend since the middle of last year, and its six-month growth rate has remained negative. Meanwhile, The Conference Board CEI for Korea has been rising since October 2011, but its six-month growth rate remains lower than the first half of last year. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that economic growth is likely to remain moderate in the near term, and that risk of a further slowing is rising.

LEADING INDICATORS.  Five of the seven components that make up The Conference Board LEI for Korea increased in January. The positive contributors – from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – were stock prices, private construction orders, real exports FOB, letter of credit arrivals, and the (inverted) yield of government public bonds.  Value of machinery orders and the (inverted) index of inventories to shipments declined in January.

Holding steady in January, The Conference Board LEI for Korea now stands at 119.7 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.5 percent in December and declined 0.9 percent in November.  During the six-month span through January, the leading economic index decreased 0.7 percent, with three of the seven components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 42.9 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS.Three of the four components that make up The Conference Board CEI for Korea increased in January.  The positive contributors – in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – were industrial production, the wholesale and retail sales component, and monthly cash earnings*. Total employment declined in January.

With the 0.3 percent increase in January, The Conference Board CEI for Korea now stands at 116.9 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in December and increased 0.2 percent in November. During the six-month span through January, the coincident economic index increased 1.4 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 Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for Korea reported in this release are those available “as of” 10 A.M. (ET) on March 13, 2012.  

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

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

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