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Benchmark Revisions - September 2005

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Released: Monday, May 12, 2014

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Korea increased 0.7 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for Korea declined 0.4 percent in March.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Korea increased in March, after having declined in two of the previous three months. The (inverted) index of inventories to shipments made the largest positive contribution to the leading index this month. The LEI grew by 1.3 percent (about a 2.7 percent annual rate) between September 2013 and March 2014, a reversal from the contraction of 1.1 percent (about a -2.1 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. However, 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, declined this month. Despite the decease, the coincident economic index grew by 1.4 percent (about a 2.8 percent annual rate) for the six-month period ending in March 2014, twice as fast as the growth of 0.7 percent (about a 1.4 percent annual rate) over the previous six months. At the same time, real GDP grew at a 3.8 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2014, up moderately from 3.6 percent (annual rate) in the last quarter of 2013.
  • The LEI for Korea has shown month-to-month volatility, but overall the index has been relatively flat over past two years. Its six-month change remains in positive territory, but has eased slightly in recent months. Meanwhile, The CEI for Korea declined in March, but its six-month growth rate has improved compared to the previous six months. Taken together, the restrained growth in both the LEI and CEI continues to suggest that the rate of economic growth is unlikely to improve in the months ahead.

LEADING INDICATORS. Five 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, real exports FOB, value of machinery orders, stock prices, and the (inverted) yield of government public bonds.  Negative contributors – from the largest negative contributor to the smallest – were private construction orders and letter of credit arrivals.

With the 0.7 percent increase in March, The Conference Board LEI for Korea now stands at 122.0 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in February and declined 1.0 percent in January. Over the six-month span through March, the leading economic index increased 1.3 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 largest positive contributor to the smallest – were industrial production and monthly cash earnings*. Total employment and the wholesale and retail sales components declined in March.

With the 0.4 percent decrease in March, The Conference Board CEI for Korea now stands at 118.0 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in February and increased 0.8 percent in January. During the six-month span through March, the coincident economic index increased 1.4 percent, with all four components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100.0 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” 2 P.M. (ET) on May 8, 2014.

* 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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