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Benchmark Revisions - September 2007

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Released: Friday, May 16, 2003

Next month's release will incorporate benchmark revisions to the composite indexes which will bring them up-to-date with revisions in component data. The benchmark revisions are maintenance procedures typically done once a year. However, this year’s revisions will also include changes in components of the leading index because two components of the leading index were discontinued in January 2002. This occurred because the National Statistical Institute (INE) adopted a new classification system corresponding to European Union requirements for the industrial production index. The results of ongoing Conference Board research will be incorporated into the composite indexes at the time of this benchmark revision. (Due to these revisions, month-to-month changes in the composite indexes will no longer be comparable to those issued prior to this benchmark.) For more information, visit our web site at www.globalindicators.org.


The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Spain decreased 0.2 percent and the coincident index increased 0.1 percent in March.

  • The leading index declined slightly in March after rising strongly in February. The weakness in the leading index in March is mainly due to a large decline in the construction component of industrial production plus small declines in the financial sector (stock prices, bond yield, and money supply).
  • Despite recent weakness, the leading index has been on a rising trend since the beginning of 2002. Without the negative contributions from estimates of the construction and capital equipment components of industrial production (see note above), the leading index would have registered stronger gains in recent months.
  • The coincident index increased moderately in March. The strength among the components of the coincident index continues to be widespread, as shown by the six-month diffusion index which has remained at 100 percent for the last ten months.

Leading Indicators. Only two of the seven components that make up the leading index increased in March. The positive contributors are the order books survey and job placings. Five of the seven components decreased in March. The negative contributors—in order from the largest negative contributor to the smallest—are the construction component of industrial production*, the Spanish contribution to Euro M2, the Spanish equity price index, the inverted long-term government bond yield, and the capital equipment component of industrial production*.

With the decrease of 0.2 percent in March, the leading index now stands at 155.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 1.0 percent in February and decreased 0.7 percent in January. During the six-month span through March, the index increased 3.8 percent, and two of the seven components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 28.6 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Three of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in March. The positive contributors —in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest—include final household consumption*, real imports*, and the retail sales survey. Industrial production excluding construction* declined in March.

With the increase of 0.1 percent in March, the coincident index now stands at 137.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.4 percent in February and increased 0.3 percent in January. During the six-month span through March, the index increased 1.6 percent, and all four components advanced (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. (ET) May 14, 2003. Some series are estimated as noted below.

*Notes: Series in the coincident index based on The Conference Board estimates include final household consumption, industrial production excluding construction, and real imports. Series in the leading index based on The Conference Board estimates are construction component of industrial production and capital equipment component of industrial production.

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

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