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Released: Monday, February 25, 2013

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Mexico increased 0.7 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) decreased 0.2 percent in December.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Mexico increased in December following two consecutive monthly declines. Net insufficient inventories, stock prices, and the real exchange rate (inverted) made large positive contributions. The leading economic index increased by 1.6 percent (about a 3.1 percent annual rate) in the six-month period ending December 2012, up from the increase of 0.7 percent (about a 1.3 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. In addition, the strengths among the leading indicators have become more widespread.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Mexico, a measure of current economic activity, declined slightly in December. Between June and December 2012, the coincident economic index grew by 0.9 percent (about a 1.8 percent annual rate), much slower than the rate of 2.1 percent (about a 4.2 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. Moreover, the strengths among the coincident indicators have become less widespread than the weaknesses in the last six months. Meanwhile, real GDP grew by a 3.1 percent (annual rate) in the fourth quarter of last year, up from 1.5 percent (annual rate) in the third quarter.
  • The LEI for Mexico rose in December and its six-month growth rate has picked up some momentum compared to the first half of 2012. The CEI for Mexico declined slightly this month, and its growth has moderated in the second half of 2012. Despite the improvement in the LEI, the recent trend in the composite indexes and their components suggests that the economy is likely to continue expanding, but the pace of its expansion is unlikely to pick up in the near term.

LEADING INDICATORS.  Four 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—were net insufficient inventories, stock prices, the (inverted) real exchange rate, and the industrial production construction component*. The US refiners’ acquisition cost of domestic and imported crude oil* decreased in December. The (inverted) federal funds rate remained unchanged.

With the 0.7 percent increase in December, The Conference Board LEI for Mexico now stands at 123.9 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.2 percent in November and declined 0.2 percent in October. During the six-month span through December, the index increased 1.6 percent, with four of the six components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 58.3 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 the number of people employed (measured by IMSS beneficiaries). Retail sales and industrial production declined in December.

With the decrease of 0.2 percent in December, The Conference Board CEI for Mexico now stands at 122.6 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in November and remained unchanged in October. During the six-month span through December, the index increased 0.9 percent, with one of the three components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 33.3 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. February 21, 2013. Some series are estimated as noted below.

NOTES: The series in The Conference Board LEI for Mexico is based on The Conference Board’s estimates for IP construction and U.S. Refiners’ Acquisition Cost of Domestic and Imported Crude Oil. There are no forecasted series in The Conference Board CEI.

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

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