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Released: Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Korea increased 0.3 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for Korea increased 0.5 percent in August.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Korea increased in August, with value of machinery orders making the largest positive contribution. Despite this month’s increase, the leading economic index contracted by 0.2 percent (about a -0.5 percent annual rate) between February and August 2013, down from the increase of 0.7 percent (about a 1.3 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. However, the weaknesses among the leading indicators have become less widespread in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Korea, a measure of current economic activity, increased this month. In the six-month period ending August 2013, the coincident economic index grew by 1.6 percent (about a 3.1 percent annual rate), a reversal from the 0.1 percent decline (about a -0.2 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. At the same time, real GDP grew 4.5 percent (annual rate) in the second quarter of 2013, up from 3.4 percent (annual rate) in the first quarter.
  • The LEI for Korea increased in August for the second time in the past six months, and although the six-month change in the index remains in negative territory, the rate of decline has been improving. Meanwhile, the CEI for Korea also increased in August, and its six-month growth rate has improved substantially compared to earlier this year. Despite recent improvements in the composite indexes, the rate of economic growth may moderately ease in the near term.

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

With the 0.3 percent decrease in August, The Conference Board LEI for Korea now stands at 119.8 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in July and decreased 0.9 percent in June.  During the six-month span through August, the leading economic index declined 0.2 percent, with three of the seven components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 42.9 percent).

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

With the 0.5 percent increase in August, The Conference Board CEI for Korea now stands at 117.9 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in July and increased 0.1 percent in August. During the six-month span through August, the coincident economic index increased 1.6 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” 4 P.M. (ET) on October 15, 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.

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

Global Indicators

StraightTalk®

Straight Talk November 2013

StraightTalk® Global Economic Outlook 2014: Time to realize the opportunities for growth

From the Chief Economist

U.S. growth continues at moderate pace with momentum beginning to lose some steam

GDP is projected to grow by 2.0 percent in 2014 with the second half of this year revised lower from an average of a 2.8 percent pace to about 2.5 percent pace.

Read the article
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