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Released: Monday, December 18, 2006

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Mexico declined 0.1 percent, while the coincident index increased 0.3 percent in October.

  • The leading index fell again in October for the third consecutive month, and oil prices continued to be the largest contributor to this decline. With October's decrease, the leading index has fallen -0.4 percent (a 1.0 percent annual rate) from April to October, down from the range of about 6.0 to 7.0 percent (annual rate) in the middle of the year. However, the strengths among the leading indicators have continued to be somewhat more widespread in recent months.
  • The coincident index increased in October, following three small declines, and it is still on a flat to slightly rising trend. 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 annual rate in the first half of the year. Despite short-term volatility, the recent behavior in the leading index still suggests that the economy is likely to continue growing at a moderate pace in the near term.

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

With the 0.1 percent decrease in October, the leading index now stands at 159.7 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 1.1 percent in September and declined 0.6 percent in August. During the six-month span through October, the index decreased 0.4 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 October. The positive contributors — from the largest positive contributor to the smallest one — are number of people employed (measured by IMSS beneficiaries)*, industrial production, and retail sales*. The (inverted) unemployment rate declined in October.

With the increase of 0.3 percent in October, the coincident index now stands at 118.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in both September and August. During the six-month span through October, the index increased 0.8 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. December 15, 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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