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Released: Friday, November 14, 2003

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Mexico decreased 0.3 percent and the coincident index decreased 0.2 percent in September.

  • The leading index declined again in September. This decline was largely due to a drop in oil prices, but oil prices rebounded in October.
  • The leading index has been fluctuating around a flat trend since the beginning of 2002, with short periods of slight increases and short periods of slight declines. The leading index increased in early 2003, which was consistent with the pickup in real GDP growth to a 1.3 percent average annual rate in the first half of 2003.
  • The leading index has now been essentially flat over the last three to six months, which is consistent with a continuation of sluggish economic growth in the near term.

Leading Indicators. Three of the six components that make up the leading index increased in September. The positive contributors to the index—from the largest positive contributor to the smallest—are stock prices, net insufficient inventories, and the industrial production construction component*. The negative contributors to the index – from the larger negative contributor to the smaller – are US refiners acquisition cost of domestic and imported crude oil and real exchange rate. The (inverted) federal funds rate remained unchanged in September.

With the 0.3 percent decline in September, the leading index now stands at 105.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.2 percent in August and increased 0.1 percent in July. During the six-month span through September, the index increased 0.1 percent, with four of the six components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Two of the four components that make up the coincident index decreased in September. The negative contributors to the index – from the larger negative contributor to the smaller one – are the (inverted) unemployment rate and industrial production. The number of people employed (measured by IMSS beneficiaries) increased, while retail sales* remained unchanged in September.

With the 0.2 percent decline in September, the coincident index now stands at 112.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.3 percent in August and decreased 0.1 percent in July. During the six-month span through September, the index decreased 0.4 percent, with three of the four components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).

Data Availability. The data series used to compute the two composite indexes reported in the tables in this release are those available “as of” 10 A.M. November 13, 2003. Some series are estimated as noted below.

*Notes: Series in the leading index based on The Conference Board estimates are industrial production - construction component and CPI deflator for calculating real exchange rate. The series in the coincident index based on The Conference Board estimates are retail sales.

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

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