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Benchmark Revisions - May 2008

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Released: Monday, June 18, 2007

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Mexico increased 0.4 percent and the coincident index increased 0.1 percent in April.

  • The leading index increased again in April, driven largely by a positive contribution from crude oil prices. With the increase in April, the six-month growth rate of the leading index picked up from a large drop in January (up from about a - 4.2 percent annual rate) and the leading index increased 0.7 percent rate (about a 1.4 percent annual rate) from October to April. But, this is still down from the rapid growth of about a 6.0 to 7.0 percent annual rate in the middle of 2006, and the strengths among the leading indicators have not been very widespread in recent months.
  • The coincident index increased slightly in April, as industrial production picked up and the labor market improved. In addition, March's slight decline was revised up to a small increase due to newly available data for industrial production. The growth of the coincident index has been volatile in 2006, and it has moderated somewhat in recent months, but strengths have been somewhat more widespread among the coincident indicators recently.
  • The leading index is still below its most recent high in July 2006, but with the recent small improvement it is now at the same level as in October 2006. At the same time, real GDP slowed to a 1.9 percent rate in the fourth quarter, down from the 6.3 percent average annual rate in the first half of 2006. The recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that economic growth should continue, albeit at a slow pace, in the near term.

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

With the 0.4 percent increase in April, the leading index now stands at 160.9 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.9 percent in March and declined 0.2 percent in February. During the six-month span through April, the index increased 0.7 percent, with two of the six components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 33.3 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Three of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in April. The positive contributors — from the largest positive contributor to the smallest one — are the (inverted) unemployment rate, number of people employed (measured by IMSS beneficiaries)*, and industrial production. Retail sales* remained unchanged in April.

With the increase of 0.1 percent in April, the coincident index now stands at 118.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in March and decreased 0.3 percent in February. During the six-month span through April, the index increased 0.0 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. June 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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