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Benchmark Revisions - September 2007

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Released: Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Spain increased 0.9 percent and the coincident index increased 0.6 percent in March.

  • The leading index increased sharply in March, following a slight gain in February. The Spanish contribution to Euro M2 continued to be the largest positive contributor to the leading index in the last several months. With March's gain, the leading index grew 3.0 percent from September to March (a 6.0 percent annual rate). In recent months, the strengths among the leading indicators have been more widespread than weaknesses.
  • The coincident index also increased again in March. The strengths among the coincident indicators have been very widespread in recent months and final household consumption* continued to be among the largest positive contributors to the index. In the first months of 2007, this index of current economic activity has continued to grow steadily — at about a 4.5 percent annual rate — slightly above its growth rate in 2005 and early 2006.
  • The leading index has been growing steadily in recent months at about a 6.0 percent annual rate. At the same time, real GDP grew at a 4.8 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter, above the 3.9 percent average rate in the first half of the year. The continued widespread growth in the leading and coincident indexes suggests that economic growth is likely to persist at a moderate to strong pace in the near term.

LEADING INDICATORS. All six components that make up the leading index increased in September. The positive contributors — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — are the Spanish contribution to Euro M2, the capital equipment component of industrial production, the Spanish equity price index, the inverted long-term government bond yield, job placings, and order books survey.

With the increase of 0.9 percent in March, the leading index now stands at 152.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in February and increased 0.6 percent in January. During the six-month span through March, the index increased 3.0 percent, and four of the six components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 66.7 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. All four components that make up the coincident index increased in March. The positive contributors — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — are retail sales survey, final household consumption*, industrial production excluding construction, and real imports*.

With the increase of 0.6 percent in March, the coincident index now stands at 161.2 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in February and increased 0.6 percent in January. During the six-month span through March, the index increased 2.6 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 18, 2007. Some series are estimated as noted below.

NOTES: Series in the coincident index based on The Conference Board estimates include final household consumption and real imports. There are no series in the leading index based on The Conference Board estimates.

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

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