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Benchmark Revisions - May 2008

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Released: Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Mexico increased 0.3 percent, while the coincident index declined 0.3 percent in March.

  • The leading index increased in March, but February’s small increase was revised down to a slight decline as actual data for the construction component of industrial production became available. As a result, the growth rate of the leading index has slowed into the 1.0-3.0 percent range (annual rate) in recent months, well below the peak growth rate in late 2003 and early 2004, and the strength among the leading indicators has become less widespread.
  • Real GDP increased at a 5.0 percent annual rate in the second half of 2004, only slightly higher than a 4.8 percent average in the first half of the year. The slower growth rate of the leading index in recent months suggests that economic growth will continue in the near term, but at a slower rate than in 2004.

Leading Indicators.Two of the six components that make up the leading index increased in March. The positive contributors to the index—from the larger positive contributor to the smaller one—are the US refiners acquisition cost of domestic and imported crude oil and the industrial production construction component*. Stock prices, net insufficient inventories, and the (inverted) federal funds rate declined, while the (inverted) real exchange rate was unchanged in March.

With the increase of 0.3 percent in March, the leading index now stands at 147.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.1 percent in February and increased 0.6 percent in January. During the six-month span through March, the index increased 1.3 percent, with three of the six components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 percent).

Coincident Indicators.Three of the four components that make up the coincident index decreased in March. The negative contributors were the (inverted) unemployment rate, number of people employed (measured by IMSS beneficiaries), and industrial production. Retail sales* increased in March.

With the 0.3 percent decline in March, the coincident index now stands at 115.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index was unchanged in February and declined 0.2 percent in January. During the six-month span through March, the index increased 0.3 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. May 18, 2005. Some series are estimated as noted below.

NOTES:* Series in the leading index based on The Conference Board estimates include industrial production - construction component. The series in the coincident index based on The Conference Board estimates include 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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