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Benchmark Revisions - September 2007

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Released: Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Spain declined 0.6 percent and the coincident index decreased 0.1 percent in April.

  • Following a sharp gain in March, the leading index decreased in April as all components' contributions turned negative. Spanish contribution to Euro M2 made the largest negative contribution in April, following its very large positive contribution in March. With April's decline, the leading index grew 2.1 percent from October to April (a 4.2 percent annual rate), moderating from the 6.0 percent growth (annual rate) through March — down from about a 7.0 percent annualized growth rate at the end of last year. However, from October to April, the strengths among the leading indicators have been somewhat more widespread than weaknesses.
  • The coincident index also declined slightly in April, driven by a large negative contribution from retail sales. 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. This index of current economic activity increased 2.2 percent from October to April (almost a 4.5 percent annual rate) and in recent months it has been growing steadily at this rate which is slightly above its growth rate in 2005 and early 2006.
  • Following a steep increase through the end of 2006, the six-month growth rate of the leading index moderated slightly in the first months of the year and continued to moderate as a result of April's sudden and widespread decline. At the same time, real GDP grew at a 4.6 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2007, slightly above the 4.1 percent average rate in the first half of the year. Despite short-term volatility, the widespread growth in the leading and coincident indexes suggests that economic growth is likely to continue in the near term.

LEADING INDICATORS. None of the six components that make up the leading index increased in April. The negative contributors — in order from the largest negative contributor to the smallest — are the Spanish contribution to Euro M2, order books survey, the inverted long-term government bond yield, the Spanish equity price index, job placings, and the capital equipment component of industrial production.

With the decrease of 0.6 percent in April, the leading index now stands at 152.0 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.9 percent in March and increased 0.1 percent in February. During the six-month span through April, the index increased 2.1 percent, and four of the six components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 66.7 percent).

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

With the decrease of 0.1 percent in April, the coincident index now stands at 161.1 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.6 percent in March and increased 0.3 percent in February. During the six-month span through April, the index increased 2.2 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) June 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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