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Benchmark Revisions - September 2005

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Released: Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Korea declined 1.5 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for Korea declined 0.6 percent in March.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Korea fell sharply in March, partly reversing its strong gain in February. The index of manufacturing inventories to shipments (inverted) and value of machinery orders made the largest negative contributions to the index.  Despite the decline, the six-month growth rate of the leading economic index stands at 1.3 percent (about a 2.5 percent annual rate) between September 2011 and March 2012, a reversal from the decline of 1.1 percent (about a -2.1 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. Additionally, the strengths among the leading indicators have been slightly more widespread than the weaknesses during the last six months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Korea, a measure of current economic activity, also fell in March.  During the six-month period ending in March, the coincident economic index increased by 1.3 percent (about a 2.6 percent annual rate), nearly the same rate as for the previous six months.  The strengths among the coincident indicators have also remained more widespread than the weaknesses in recent months. At the same time, real GDP grew at a 3.7 percent (annual rate) in the first quarter of 2012, up from 1.3 percent (annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2011.  
  • The Conference Board LEI for Korea declined sharply in March following three consecutive gains, but its six-month growth rate remains in positive territory.  Meanwhile, the upward trend in The Conference Board CEI for Korea was interrupted by the decline in March. However, the six-month growth rate for the index has been relatively steady since the second half of last year. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that despite the decline in the leading economic index in March, growth in economic activity is likely to remain positive in the near term.

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

With the 1.5 percent decrease in March, The Conference Board LEI for Korea now stands at 121.5 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 2.9 percent in February and increased 0.2 percent in January.  During the six-month span through March, the leading economic index increased 1.3 percent, with four of the seven components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 57.1 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Two of the four components that make up The Conference Board CEI for Korea increased in March.  The positive contributors were total employment and monthly cash earnings*.  Industrial production and the wholesale and retail sales component declined in March.

With the 0.6 percent decrease in March, The Conference Board CEI for Korea now stands at 116.6 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in both February and January. During the six-month span through March, the coincident economic index increased 1.3 percent, with two of the four components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 62.5 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 May 15, 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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