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Benchmark Revisions - May 2008

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Released: Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Mexico increased 1.1 percent, while the coincident index remained unchanged in July.

  • The leading index increased sharply in July, the fifth consecutive increase. With this month's increase, the growth rate of the leading index picked up to 3.8 percent (a 7.7 percent annual rate) from January to July, up from the 2.1 percent decline in January (about a -4.2 percent annual rate). Most of the strength in the leading index has been coming from the oil price component in recent months, but overall, the strengths and weaknesses among the leading indicators have been somewhat balanced.
  • The coincident index was unchanged in July, and industrial production continued to be the largest positive contributor to the index. At the same time, real GDP growth picked up to a 3.2 percent average annual rate in the first half of 2007 (including a 5.3 percent rate in the second quarter), from the 2.4 percent average annual rate in the second half of 2006. The leading index has been improving since February, but this improvement has been volatile and the number of components that rose has been roughly equal to the number that fell. The recent behavior in the leading and coincident indexes so far suggests that moderate economic growth is likely to continue in the near term.

LEADING INDICATORS. Three of the six components that make up the leading index increased in July. 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, net insufficient inventories, and the (inverted) real exchange rate. Stock prices and the industrial production construction component* decreased in July. The (inverted) federal funds rate remained unchanged.

With the 1.1 percent increase in July, the leading index now stands at 165.1 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in June and increased 1.0 percent in May. During the six-month span through July, the index increased 3.8 percent, with three of the six components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 percent).

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

Holding steady in July, the coincident index now stands at 119.3 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in June and increased 0.5 percent in May. During the six-month span through July, the index increased 0.7 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. September 17, 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.

THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.

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