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Benchmark Revisions - May 2008

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Released: Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Mexico increased 0.7 percent and the coincident index increased 0.4 percent in November.

  • The leading index increased again in November. Stock prices made a large negative contribution to the index in November, but this was more than offset by the rising oil price component which has been making large positive contributions in the second half of 2007. The six-month growth rate of the leading index stands at 5.0 percent during the six-month span through November, well above its average growth rate of 1.9 percent in the first half of the year. In addition, the strengths among the leading indicators have been somewhat more widespread than weaknesses throughout the last six months.
  • The coincident index also increased again in November. The number of people employed (measured by IMSS beneficiaries) has been the largest positive contributor to the index in recent months. The six-month growth rate of the coincident index stands at 0.8 percent (an approximately 1.6 percent annual growth rate) during the six-month span through November. In addition, the strengths among the coincident indicators remain more widespread than weaknesses.
  • Since the end of the first quarter of 2007, the leading index has grown steadily. During the same period, the coincident index, a measure of current economic activity, has continued to increase, albeit at a slower pace than the leading index. At the same time, real GDP grew at a 5.8 percent average annual rate during the second and third quarters of 2007, a significant increase from the 1.6 percent average annual rate for the previous two quarters. The recent behavior of the leading and coincident indexes suggests that economic growth in the near term should continue at a moderate to strong pace.

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

With the 0.7 percent increase in November, the leading index now stands at 171.1 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 1.9 percent in October and increased 0.8 percent in September. During the six-month span through November, the index increased 5.0 percent, with four 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 November. The positive contributors — from the largest positive contributor to the smallest one — are number of people employed (measured by IMSS beneficiaries)*, the inverted unemployment rate and industrial production. Retail sales* remained unchanged in November.

With the increase of 0.4 percent in November, the coincident index now stands at 120.3 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in October and decreased 0.1 percent in September. During the six-month span through November, the index increased 0.8 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. January 14, 2008. 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 industrial production and 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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