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Benchmark Revisions - September 2005

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Released: Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Korea declined 0.2 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for Korea increased 0.3 percent in April.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Korea fell again in April following a sharp decline in March, with the index of manufacturing inventories to shipments (inverted) and exports making large negative contributions to the index, while value of machinery orders made a large positive contribution. Despite the decline, the leading economic index increased by 0.9 percent (about a 1.8 percent annual rate) during the six-month period ending April 2012, a reversal from the decline of 0.6 percent (about a -1.2 percent annual rate) between April and October 2011. Additionally, the strengths among the leading indicators have been more widespread than the weaknesses during the last six months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Korea, a measure of current economic activity, increased in April, with industrial production and employment both advancing. During the six-month period ending in April, the coincident economic index increased by 1.1 percent (about a 2.3 percent annual rate), slightly lower than the 1.8 percent growth rate (about a 3.7 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. The strengths among the coincident indicators have been balanced in the last six months. At the same time, real GDP grew at a 3.5 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2012, up from a 1.3 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2011.  
  • The Conference Board LEI for Korea declined for the second consecutive month in April, but its six-month growth rate is still higher than during the second half of 2011. Meanwhile, The Conference Board CEI for Korea increased in April after declining in March, though its six-month growth rate has slowed since February of this year. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes still suggests that despite the declines in the leading economic index in the last two months, the economy is likely to continue expanding in the near term.

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

With the 0.2 percent decrease in April, The Conference Board LEI for Korea now stands at 121.2 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 1.5 percent in March and increased 2.8 percent in February. During the six-month span through April, the leading economic index increased 0.9 percent, with five of the seven components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 78.6 percent).

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

With the 0.3 percent increase in April, The Conference Board CEI for Korea now stands at 117.4 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.8 percent in March and increased 0.9 percent in February. During the six-month span through April, the coincident economic index increased 1.1 percent, with two of the four components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 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 June 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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