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Benchmark Revisions - May 2008

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Released: Thursday, January 29, 2009

This month's release incorporates annual benchmark revisions to the composite economic indexes, which bring them up-to-date with revisions in the source data. Also, the base year of the composite economic indexes has been changed to 2004=100 from 1990=100. These revisions do not change the cyclical properties of the indexes. The indexes are updated throughout the year, but only for the previous six months. Data revisions that fall outside of the moving six-month window are not incorporated until the benchmark revision is made and the entire histories of the indexes are recomputed. As a result, the revised indexes will not be directly comparable to those issued prior to the benchmark revision.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.conference-board.org/economics/bci/ or contact us at indicators@conference-board.org.

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for Mexico declined 4.5 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI) decreased 0.6 percent in November.

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Download a PDF of the press release in Spanish.

  • The Leading Economic Index declined sharply in November as it has done the previous three months due to very large declines in oil prices, net insufficient inventories and the industrial production construction component. During the previous six months, the LEI declined 13.0 percent (a -24.3 percent annual rate), significantly lower than the 2.7 percent rate of growth (a 5.5 percent annual rate) between November 2007 and May 2008. In addition, the weaknesses among the leading indicators have remained very widespread, with none of the components increasing over the past six months.
  • The Coincident Economic Index declined in November, its fifth consecutive monthly decline, as a result of negative contributions from industrial production and employment. Between May and November 2008, the CEI declined 0.9 percent (a -1.8 percent annual rate), which is slightly lower than the -1.4 percent annual rate of decline during the previous six months. In addition, weaknesses among the coincident indicators continue to remain widespread. Meanwhile, real GDP growth slowed to a 1.7 percent average annual rate in the second and third quarters of 2008, well below the 4.3 percent average annual rate of growth for the second half of 2007.
  • The Leading Economic Index has declined precipitously since August, with the rate of decline accelerating very rapidly in recent months; this is the sharpest decline in the LEI since the 1994 financial crisis. At the same time, the CEI has been trending downward, with its six-month growth rate remaining below zero since August 2008. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that economic activity should be weak going forward and that there are increasing risks of further deterioration in the near term.

LEADING INDICATORS. One of the six components that make up the leading economic index increased in November. The only positive contributor to the index was the stock price component. The US refiners' acquisition cost of domestic and imported crude oil, net insufficient inventories, the industrial production construction component, and the (inverted) real exchange rate decreased in November. The (inverted) federal funds rate remained unchanged.

With the 4.5 percent decrease in November, the leading economic index now stands at 105.0 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 6.0 percent in October and declined 2.4 percent in September. During the six-month span through November, the index decreased 13.0 percent, with none of the six components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 0.0 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. None of the three components that make up the coincident economic index increased in November. Industrial production, number of people employed (measured by IMSS total beneficiaries) and retail sales* all declined in November.

With the decrease of 0.6 percent in November, the coincident economic index now stands at 111.2 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.3 percent in October and decreased 0.2 percent in September. During the six-month span through November, the index decreased -0.9 percent, with one of the three components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 33.3 percent).

DATA AVAILABILITY. The data series used by The Conference Board to compute The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for Mexico and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI) for Mexico reported in this release are those available "as of" 10 A.M. ET on January 26, 2009. Some series are estimated as noted below.

NOTES: The series in the coincident economic index based on The Conference Board estimates include retail sales. None of the components in the leading economic index are statistically imputed.

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

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