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Released: Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Mexico declined 0.2 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) increased 0.3 percent in December.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Mexico fell slightly in December following no change in November. A large decline in net insufficient inventories more than offset positive contributions from oil prices and the real exchange rate. Despite the small decline in December, the leading economic index grew 0.3 percent (about a 0.7 percent annual rate) in the second half of 2013, an improvement from the decline of 0.9 percent (about a -1.8 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. Moreover, the strengths among the leading indicators were more widespread than the weaknesses in the last six months.  
  • The Conference Board CEI for Mexico, a measure of current economic activity, increased slightly again in December. The coincident economic index grew 1.1 percent (about a 2.2 percent annual rate) between June and December 2013, up from the increase of 0.4 percent (about a 0.8 percent annual rate) during the first half of the year. Meanwhile, real GDP grew by 0.7 percent (annual rate) in the fourth quarter, down from the 3.9 percent growth (annual rate) in the third quarter of 2013.
  • The LEI for Mexico declined slightly in December, and has been relatively flat for the past several months. Its six-month growth, however, has picked up somewhat compared to the first half of 2013 and is now in positive territory.  Meanwhile, the CEI for Mexico increased modestly again in December, and its six-month growth rate also accelerated in the second half of last year. Taken together, the slight pickup in the six-month growth in both the LEI and CEI suggests that the rate of economic activity is likely to improve in the first half of 2014.

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— are the US refiners’ acquisition cost of domestic and imported crude oil, the (inverted) real exchange rate, stock prices, and the industrial production construction component.  Net insufficient inventories decreased in December while the (inverted) federal funds rate remained unchanged.

With the 0.2 percent decrease in December, The Conference Board LEI for Mexico now stands at 123.3 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in November and declined 0.1 percent in October.  During the six-month span through December, the index increased 0.3 percent, with four of the six components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 66.7 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Two of the three components that make up The Conference Board CEI for Mexico increased in December. The positive contributors —from the larger positive contributor to the smaller one—are retail sales* and number of people employed (measured by IMSS beneficiaries).  Industrial production remained unchanged in December.

With the increase of 0.3 percent in December, The Conference Board CEI for Mexico now stands at 122.7 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in November and increased 0.1 percent in October.  During the six-month span through December, the index increased 1.1 percent, with all three components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100.0 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 25, 2014. Some series are estimated as noted below.

NOTES: There are no forecasted series in The Conference Board LEI.  The series in The Conference Board CEI for Mexico is based on The Conference Board’s estimates for 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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