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Released: Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Mexico increased 0.3 percent and the coincident index remained unchanged in July.

  • The leading index increased in July after declining slightly in June. It has also increased for five out of seven months since the beginning of 2006. With this month's gain, the leading index continued to grow in the 6.0 - 7.0 percent (annual rate) range. This is an improvement from earlier this year, but is still below the rapid growth of 14 percent through the third quarter of 2005. However, the strengths have become somewhat more widespread among the leading indicators in recent months.
  • The coincident index was unchanged in July, but it is still on a slightly rising trend. At the same time, real GDP grew at a 5.7 percent average annual rate in the first half of 2006 (including a 4.5 percent rate in the second quarter), up from the 3.9 percent average rate over the previous two quarters. Despite short-term volatility, the improvement in the leading index relative to the beginning of the year suggests that economic growth is likely to remain moderate to strong in the near term.

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

With the 0.3 percent increase in July, the leading index now stands at 161.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.1 percent in June and increased 0.6 percent in May. During the six-month span through July, the index increased 2.9 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 July. The positive contributors — from the largest positive contributor to the smallest one — are industrial production, number of people employed (measured by IMSS beneficiaries)*, and retail sales*. The (inverted) unemployment rate declined in July.

Holding steady in July, the coincident index now stands at 118.2 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in June and increased 0.4 percent in May. During the six-month span through July, the index increased 0.7 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. September 19, 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 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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