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Benchmark Revisions - May 2008

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Released: Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Mexico declined 0.8 percent and the coincident index remained unchanged in January.

  • The leading index fell sharply in January, driven strongly by a large decline in the oil prices. The weaknesses among the leading indicators were widespread in January. With January's decline, the six-month change in the leading index has continued to fall, to a -2.1 percent (a -4.1 percent annual rate), down from the rapid growth of about a 6.0 to 7.0 percent annual rate in the middle of 2006. However, despite the decline in the leading index, strengths and weaknesses were balanced in the last two months as indicated by the six-month diffusion index.
  • The coincident index was unchanged in January. This index of current economic activity continues to grow on a slightly rising trend, but its growth rate has moderated in recent months. At the same time, real GDP slowed to a 2.3 percent annual rate in the second half of 2006 (including a 1.9 percent rate in the fourth quarter), down from the 6.3 percent average annual rate in the first half of the year. Despite short-term volatility, the recent behavior in the leading index so far suggests that slow economic growth is likely to continue in the near term.

LEADING INDICATORS. One of the six components that make up the leading index increased in January. The positive contributor to the index occurred in stock prices. The US refiners' acquisition cost of domestic and imported crude oil, net insufficient inventories, the (inverted) real exchange rate, and the (inverted) federal funds rate decreased, while the construction component of industrial production* remained unchanged in January.

With the 0.8 percent decrease in January, the leading index now stands at 159.1 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.4 percent in December and declined 0.1 percent in November. During the six-month span through January, the index decreased 2.1 percent, with three of the six components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. One of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in January. The positive contributor occurred in the (inverted) unemployment rate. Industrial production and number of people employed (measured by IMSS beneficiaries)*declined, while retail sales* remained unchanged in January.

Holding steady in January, the coincident index now stands at 118.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in December and increased 0.3 percent in November. During the six-month span through January, the index increased 0.3 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. March 14, 2007. 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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