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Released: Friday, February 24, 2012

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Mexico increased 0.2 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) decreased 0.5 percent in December.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Mexico increased slightly in December, following a large gain in November. Despite the gain, over the second half of 2011, the leading economic index fell 0.4 percent (about a -0.8 percent annual rate), significantly down from the increase of 2.1 percent (about a 4.3 percent annual rate) in the first half of the year. However, the strengths among the leading indicators have become more widespread than the weaknesses in the last six months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Mexico, a measure of current economic activity, fell in December. The coincident economic index increased 1.8 percent (about a 3.7 percent annual rate) between June and December 2011, down from the 2.0 percent increase (about a 4.1 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. However, the strengths among the coincident indicators have remained very widespread in recent months, with all components increasing. Meanwhile, real GDP increased at a 2.1 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2011, down from the 4.7 percent annual rate in the third quarter.
  • The Conference Board LEI for Mexico increased in the past two months after declining in the third quarter of 2011, but its six-month growth rate remained negative. Meanwhile, The Conference Board CEI for Mexico continued on the upward trend that started in mid-2009, but its six-month growth rate has moderated compared to the first half of the year. Taken together, the behavior of the composite indexes suggests that although economic activity will continue to expand, the rate of growth is likely to be more moderate in the near term.

LEADING INDICATORS.  Three of the six components that make up The Conference Board LEI for Mexico increased in December. The positive contributors to the index — from the largest positive contributor to the smallest one — are net insufficient inventories, the US refiners’ acquisition cost of domestic and imported crude oil, and stock prices.  The industrial production construction component and the (inverted) real exchange rate decreased, while the federal funds component remained unchanged in December.

With the 0.2 percent increase in December, The Conference Board LEI for Mexico now stands at 120.4 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 1.2 percent in November and declined 0.2 percent in October.  During the six-month span through December, the index declined 0.4 percent, with four of the six components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS.  Only one of the three components that make up The Conference Board CEI for Mexico increased in December. The positive contributor was industrial production.  Number of people employed (measured by IMSS beneficiaries) declined, while retail sales remained unchanged in December.

With the decrease of 0.5 percent in December, The Conference Board CEI for Mexico now stands at 117.6 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.6 percent in November and increased 0.5 percent in October.  During the six-month span through December, the index increased 1.8 percent, with all three 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. February 23, 2012. Some series are estimated as noted below.

* There are no forecasted series in The Conference Board LEI or The Conference Board CEI for Mexico.

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

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