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Benchmark Revisions - May 2008

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Released: Tuesday, October 16, 2007

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

  • The leading index declined in August, following five consecutive increases. The weaknesses among the leading indicators were very widespread, and the net insufficient inventories was the only component that made a positive contribution in August. Despite this month's decrease, the leading index continued to grow at a 3.8 percent rate (a 7.7 percent annual rate) from February to August, up from the 2.1 percent decline in January (about a -4.2 percent annual rate). The leading index has been improving since February, but this improvement has been volatile, and most of the strength in the leading index has been due to the oil price component in recent months.
  • The coincident index increased slightly in August, and the strength in this index of current economic activity has been widespread. 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. Despite short-term volatility, the recent behavior in the leading index so far suggests that moderate 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 August. The positive contributor to the index was net insufficient inventories. The (inverted) real exchange rate, the US refiners' acquisition cost of domestic and imported crude oil, stock prices, and the industrial production construction component* decreased in August. The (inverted) federal funds rate remained unchanged.

With the 0.3 percent decrease in August, the leading index now stands at 164.9 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 1.3 percent in July and increased 0.2 percent in June. During the six-month span through August, the index increased 3.8 percent, with three of the six components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 66.7 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Three of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in August. 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 August.

With the increase of 0.1 percent in August, the coincident index now stands at 119.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in July and increased 0.3 percent in June. During the six-month span through August, the index increased 1.1 percent, with all of the 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. October 12, 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.

*See notes under data availability.

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

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