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Released: Friday, February 17, 2006

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Mexico declined 0.6 percent, while the coincident index remained unchanged in December.

  • The leading index declined again in December, and November’s small decline was revised down as the data for oil prices was revised. The leading index grew rapidly until the end of the third quarter of 2005, but its growth has been moderating gradually since September and its six month growth rate is now at about a 3.0 to 4.0 percent annual rate, the same rate as in early 2005. In addition, the strength among the leading indicators continued to be widespread in recent months.
  • The coincident index was unchanged in December, and November’s no change was revised down to a small decline as actual data for retail sales became available. At the same time, real GDP growth slowed to a 2.9 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2005, down from the 4.8 percent rate in the third quarter, but up from a 1.7 percent average rate in the first half of the year. Despite short-term fluctuations, the recent behavior of the leading index suggests that the economy is likely to continue growing moderately in the near term.

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

With the 0.6 percent decline in December, the leading index now stands at 154.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.6 percent in November and increased 0.1 percent in October. During the six-month span through December, the index increased 1.7 percent, with five of the six components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 83.3 percent).

Coincident Indicators.Two of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in December. The positive contributors were number of people employed (measured by IMSS beneficiaries) and the (inverted) unemployment rate. Retail sales* and industrial production declined in December.

Holding steady in December, the coincident index now stands at 116.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in November and increased 0.4 percent in October. During the six-month span through December, the index increased 0.6 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. February 16, 2006. 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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