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Released: Friday, January 16, 2004

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Mexico increased 0.3 percent and the coincident index increased 0.1 percent in November.

  • With this month’s gain, the leading index continues its slightly upward trend from the most recent low at the end of 2002. Notwithstanding the recent volatility in oil prices, the strength in the leading index has become more widespread.
  • Real GDP declined at a 1.3 percent annual rate in the third quarter following strong growth in the second quarter (a 5.1 percent annual rate). The continued widespread growth of the leading index suggests that the third quarter’s decline in real GDP is not the beginning of a downward trend in economic activity. Instead, the leading index is signaling a sluggish but positive average rate of economic growth in the near term.

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

With the 0.3 percent increase in November, the leading index now stands at 106.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.5 percent in October and decreased 0.3 percent in September. During the six-month span through November, the index increased 0.6 percent, with five of the six components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 83.3 percent).

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

With the 0.1 percent increase in November, the coincident index now stands at 113.1 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in October and decreased 0.3 percent again in September. During the six-month span through November, the index decreased 0.4 percent, with two of the four components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 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. January 15, 2004. Some series are estimated as noted below.

*Notes: Series in the leading index based on The Conference Board estimates are industrial production - construction component. 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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