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Benchmark Revisions - September 2005

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Released: Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Korea declined 1.2 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for Korea increased 0.6 percent in May.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Korea fell sharply in May for the third consecutive month. Private construction orders, real exports, letter of credit arrivals, and stock prices all made large negative contributions to the index.  The leading economic index increased by 0.5 percent (about a 1.0 percent annual rate) during the six-month period ending May 2012, an improvement from the decline of 1.8 percent (about a -3.6 percent annual rate) between May and November 2011. However, the weaknesses among the leading indicators have been more widespread than the strengths during the last six months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Korea, a measure of current economic activity, increased in May for the second consecutive month. During the six-month period ending in May 2012, the coincident economic index increased by 1.5 percent (about a 3.1 percent annual rate), slightly up from the 1.2 percent growth rate (about a 2.5 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. The strengths among the coincident indicators have been slightly more widespread than the weaknesses 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 third consecutive month in May, but its six-month growth rate is still higher than during the second half of 2011. Meanwhile, The Conference Board CEI for Korea has increased in the last two months, and its six-month growth rate has been fairly steady since the third quarter of last year. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that despite the recent declines in the leading economic index, the economy is still likely to continue expanding in the near term.

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

With the 1.2 percent decrease in May, The Conference Board LEI for Korea now stands at 119.8 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index declined 0.1 percent in April and declined 1.5 percent in March.  During the six-month span through May, the leading economic index increased 0.5 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 May.  The positive contributors– in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – were the wholesale and retail sales component, total employment, and industrial production.   Monthly cash earnings* declined in May.

With the 0.6 percent increase in May, The Conference Board CEI for Korea now stands at 118.1 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in April and decreased 0.8 percent in March. During the six-month span through May, the coincident economic index increased 1.5 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 July 10, 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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