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Benchmark Revisions - September 2005

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Released: Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Korea increased 1.2 percent, while The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for Korea declined 0.3 percent in March.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Korea increased sharply in March. However, February’s small gain was revised to a small decline. Increases in the (inverted) index of inventories to shipments, private construction orders, and value of machinery orders more than offset the large negative contribution from letter of credit arrivals. Between September 2012 and March 2013, the leading economic index increased by 1.1 percent (about a 2.2 percent annual rate), a reversal from the decline of 1.6 percent (about a -3.2 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, fell slightly in March. Between September 2012 and March 2013, the coincident economic index declined by 0.1 percent (about a -0.2 percent annual rate), down from the increase of 0.9 percent (about a 1.7 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. Moreover, the strengths among the coincident indicators have become less widespread, and are now only balanced with the weaknesses in the last six 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 increased in March following three consecutive declines, and its six-month growth has been fairly stable since the second half of last year. Meanwhile, the CEI for Korea fell in March – the third decline in the last four months. As a result, its six-month change has dipped slightly into negative territory. Despite the large gain in the LEI, the recent volatility in the index suggests that the economic expansion will continue, but that the rate of expansion is likely to remain modest in the near term.

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

With the 1.2 percent increase in March, The Conference Board LEI for Korea now stands at 121.7 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.4 percent in February and declined 0.5 percent in January. During the six-month span through March, the leading economic index increased 1.1 percent, with five of the seven components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 71.4 percent).

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

With the 0.3 percent decrease in March, The Conference Board CEI for Korea now stands at 116.7 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in February and decreased 0.1 percent in January. During the six-month span through March, the coincident economic index decreased 0.1 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 May 13, 2013.  

* 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.

For more information, visit The Conference Board website:
www.conference-board.org/data/bci.cfm

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

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