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Released: Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Mexico declined 1.2 percent and the coincident index decreased 0.2 percent in September.

  • The leading index fell sharply in September, and there were small downward revisions to the previous several months as a result of data revisions. Oil prices and net insufficient inventories were again the largest contributions to this month's decline. With September's large decrease, the leading index grew 0.8 percent (1.5 percent annual rate) from March to September, down from the range of about 6.0 to 7.0 percent (annual rate) in the second quarter of 2006. However, the strengths among the leading indicators have been somewhat more widespread than weaknesses in recent months.
  • The coincident index declined again in September. This index of current economic activity has been on an increasing upward trend since early 2006, but with the last two months' decreases, its growth has also moderated. At the same time, real GDP slowed to a 3.9 percent annual rate in the third quarter of 2006, down from the 5.3 percent average rate in the first half of the year. Despite short-term volatility, the recent behavior in the leading index suggests that the economy is likely to grow at a moderate pace in the near term.

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

With the 1.2 percent decrease in September, the leading index now stands at 159.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.7 percent in August and increased 0.8 percent in July. During the six-month span through September, the index increased 0.8 percent, with four of the six components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 66.7 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. One of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in September. The positive was number of people employed (measured by IMSS beneficiaries)*. The (inverted) unemployment rate, industrial production, and retail sales* declined.

With the decrease of 0.2 percent in September, the coincident index now stands at 117.9 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.2 percent in August and remained unchanged in July. During the six-month span through September, the index increased 0.5 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. November 14, 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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