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Benchmark Revisions - May 2008

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Released: Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Mexico increased 0.1 percent and the coincident index increased 0.3 percent in June.

  • The leading index increased slightly in June following three large consecutive gains. But, oil prices were the single positive contributor to the gain in this month. With the small increase in June, the growth rate of the leading index picked up to 1.7 percent (a 3.4 percent annual rate) from December to June. Although this is an improvement from the 2.1 percent decline in January (about a -4.2 percent annual rate), the growth rate of the leading index is still well below the rapid growth of about a 6.0 to 7.0 percent annual rate in the middle of 2006. In addition, the weaknesses among the leading indicators have been more widespread than strengths in recent months.
  • The coincident index also increased slightly in June, and industrial production and the (inverted) unemployment rate continued to be the main positive contributors to this index of current economic activity. At the same time, real GDP slowed to a 0.7 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2007, down from the 2.1 percent average annual rate in the second half of 2006. Despite the slight improvement in recent months, the behavior of the composite indexes so far still suggests that economic growth should continue, albeit at a slow pace in the near term.

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

With the 0.1 percent increase in June, the leading index now stands at 163 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.9 percent in May and increased 0.6 percent in April. During the six-month span through June, the index increased 1.7 percent, with two of the six components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 33.3 percent). *See notes under data availability.

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Two of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in June. The positive contributors — from the larger positive contributor to the smaller one — are the (inverted) unemployment rate and industrial production. Number of people employed (measured by IMSS beneficiaries)*declined, while retail sales* remained unchanged in June.

With the increase of 0.3 percent in June, the coincident index now stands at 119.2 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.4 percent in May and increased 0.2 percent in April. During the six-month span through June, the index increased 0.5 percent, with all four components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100.0 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. August 15, 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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