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Benchmark Revisions - September 2005

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Released: Thursday, June 12, 2014

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

  • The Conference Board LEI for Korea increased for the third consecutive month in April, with value of machinery orders and construction orders making the largest positive contributions. Despite this month’s increase, the leading economic index’s growth slowed to 0.7 percent (about a 1.3 percent annual rate) between October 2013 and April 2014, from 1.5 percent (about a 3.0 percent annual rate) in 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 slightly. Over the six-month period ending in April, the coincident economic index grew by 1.1 percent (about a 2.2 percent annual rate), slightly faster than the 0.8 percent increase (about a 1.5 percent annual rate) during 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 from 3.6 percent (annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2013.
  • The LEI for Korea has increased in the last three months, and has been on a moderate upward trend since August of last year. Despite recent improvements, its six-month change has weakened in recent months, but remains in positive territory. Meanwhile, The CEI for Korea declined in April, and its six-month growth rate, though slightly higher than in the previous six months, has also recently moderated somewhat. The slower growth in both the LEI and CEI suggests that the rate of expansion in economic activity is unlikely to gain momentum in the near term.

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

With the 0.8 percent increase in April, The Conference Board LEI for Korea now stands at 123.6 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.9 percent in March and increased 0.2 percent in February. Over the six-month span through April, the leading economic index increased 0.7 percent, with four of the seven components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 percent).

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

With the 0.1 percent decrease in April, The Conference Board CEI for Korea now stands at 118.4 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.8 percent in March and increased 1.1 percent in February. During the six-month span through April, the coincident economic index increased 1.1 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” 2 P.M. (ET) on June 11, 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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