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Benchmark Revisions - September 2005

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Released: Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Korea declined 0.8 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for Korea increased 0.1 percent in January.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Korea fell in January, and there was a slight downward revision to the index in December. Private construction orders continued to fall, and the (inverted) index of inventories to shipment and letter of credit arrivals also made large negative contributions to the index this month. Between July 2012 and January 2013, the leading economic index increased by 0.4 percent (about a 0.8 percent annual rate), up from the decline of 0.2 percent (about a -0.3 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. Additionally, the strengths among the leading indicators have remained more widespread than the weaknesses in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Korea, a measure of current economic activity, increased slightly in January. The coincident economic index grew by 0.5 percent (about a 1.0 percent annual rate) in the six-month period ending January 2013, moderately slower than the 0.8 percent increase (about a 1.6 percent annual rate) during the previous six months.  Moreover, the strengths among the coincident indicators have remained more widespread than the weaknesses in recent months. At the same time, real GDP grew at a 1.5 percent annual rate in the last quarter of 2012, up from 0.2 percent (annual rate) in the third quarter.  
  • The LEI for Korea declined in January for the second consecutive month after increasing in the previous three months. Its six-month growth, although still positive and higher than in the first three quarters of 2012, has moderated somewhat in recent months.  Meanwhile, the CEI for Korea registered a small gain in January and has been on a flat to slightly upward trend since the second half of last year. Taken together, both the LEI and CEI suggest that the economic expansion will continue in the near term, but the rate is unlikely to pick up.

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

With the 0.8 percent decrease in January, The Conference Board LEI for Korea now stands at 120.3 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index declined 0.1 percent in December and increased 0.2 percent in November.  During the six-month span through January, the leading economic index increased 0.4 percent, with five of the seven components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 71.4 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 total employment, the wholesale and retail sales component, and monthly cash earnings*.   Industrial production declined in January.

With the 0.1 percent increase in January, The Conference Board CEI for Korea now stands at 117.2 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.2 percent in December and increased 0.4 percent in November. During the six-month span through January, the coincident economic index increased 0.5 percent, with three 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 March 13, 2013.  

* The series in the coincident economic index based on The Conference Board’s estimates is monthly cash earnings.  The series in the leading economic index based on The Conference Board’s estimates were letter of credit arrivals and value of machinery orders.

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

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