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Released: Friday, March 23, 2012

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Mexico increased 1.5 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) increased 0.5 percent in January.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Mexico increased sharply in January, but the small gain in December was revised down to a decline due to data revision in oil prices. With this month’s gain, between July 2011 and January 2012, the leading economic index increased by 0.7 percent (about a 1.5 percent annual rate), slightly down from 1.3 percent (about a 2.7 percent annual rate) in the previous six months. The strengths among the leading indicators have remained more widespread than the weaknesses in the last six months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Mexico, a measure of current economic activity, also increased in January. The coincident economic index increased 2.0 percent (about a 4.0 percent annual rate) between July 2011 and January 2012, about the same rate as the previous six months. Moreover, 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 sharply in January amid widespread strengths among its components. The six-month growth rate in the leading economic index has also returned to positive territory after staying negative in the last four months. However, it is still lower than that in the first half of last year. Meanwhile, The Conference Board CEI for Mexico continued on the upward trend that started in mid-2009, and its six-month growth rate has remained fairly steady through January. Taken together, the behavior of the composite indexes suggests that the current economic expansion is likely to continue in the near term.

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

With the 1.5 percent increase in January, The Conference Board LEI for Mexico now stands at 121.8 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index declined 0.2 percent in December and increased 1.2 percent in November.  During the six-month span through January, the index remained unchanged 0.7 percent, with four of the six components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS.  All three components that make up The Conference Board CEI for Mexico increased in January. The positive contributors —from the largest positive contributor to the smallest one—were industrial production, number of people employed (measured by IMSS beneficiaries), and retail sales. 

With the increase of 0.5 percent in January, The Conference Board CEI for Mexico now stands at 118.2 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.5 percent in December and increased 0.6 percent in November.  During the six-month span through January, the index increased 2.0 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. March 21, 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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