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Benchmark Revisions - May 2008

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Released: Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Mexico increased 1.3 percent and the coincident index increased 0.2 percent in March.

  • The leading index increased sharply in March following a small decline in February. A sharp increase in the net insufficient inventories component was the largest contributor to this month's gain, and the strengths among the leading indicators continued to be somewhat more widespread than weaknesses in recent months. Despite March's sharp pickup, the growth rate of the leading index has been slowing down gradually from the rapid growth through the end of the third quarter of 2005, and the leading index has been growing at about a 3.0 to 4.0 percent annual rate in recent months.
  • The coincident index increased slightly in March, and it has been on a flat to slightly rising trend since the beginning of 2005. 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. Despite short-term volatility, the recent behavior of the leading index suggests that slow to moderate economic growth is likely to continue in the near term.

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

With the 1.3 percent increase in March, the leading index now stands at 158.7 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.1 percent in February and increased 0.8 percent in January. During the six-month span through March, the index increased 1.3 percent, with four of the six components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 66.7 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Two of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in March. The positive contributors -from the largest positive contributor to the smallest one-are industrial production and number of people employed (measured by IMSS beneficiaries). The (inverted) unemployment rate* and retail sales*declined in March.

With the increase of 0.2 percent in March, the coincident index now stands at 117.1 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.3 percent in February and decreased 0.1 percent in January. During the six-month span through March, 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. May 17, 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, number of employees, and unemployment rate.

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

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