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Released: Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Mexico increased 0.8 percent and the coincident index increased 0.1 percent in September.

  • The leading index increased sharply in September, following a small decline in August. The oil prices component was the largest positive contributor to the leading index in September. With this month's increase, the leading index continued to grow, to a 4.1 percent rate (an 8.4 percent annual rate) from March to September, up from the 1.0 to 2.1 percent decline early this year (about a -3.0 to -4.0 percent annual rate). The leading index has been increasing since February, though the rate of increase has not been consistent. Most of the strength in the leading index has been due to the oil price component in recent months.
  • The coincident index increased slightly again in September, and the strengths in the index have continued to be 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. Three of the six components that make up the leading index increased in September. 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, and net insufficient inventories. The industrial production construction component* and stock prices decreased, while the (inverted) federal funds rate remained unchanged in September.

With the 0.8 percent increase in September, the leading index now stands at 166.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.1 percent in August and increased 1.4 percent in July. During the six-month span through September, the index increased 4.1 percent, with five of the six components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 83.3 percent).

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

With the increase of 0.1 percent in September, the coincident index now stands at 119.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in both August and July. During the six-month span through September, the index increased 1.2 percent, with all four components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100.0 percent). *See notes under data availability.

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. November 13, 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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