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Benchmark Revisions - September 2007

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Released: Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Spain increased 0.3 percent and the coincident index increased 0.2 percent in October.

  • The leading index increased again in October. The Spanish equity price index and job placings were the largest positive contributors to the index, more than offsetting a large negative contribution from the Spanish contribution to Euro M2. Between April and October, the leading index increased by 1.3 percent (about a 2.7 percent annual rate), well below the range of 5.5 to 6.0 percent average growth (annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2006 and first quarter of 2007. Still, the strengths among the leading indicators have been somewhat more widespread than the weaknesses over the past six months.
  • The coincident index increased in October, following no change in September. There were downward revisions to the index from June through September as new data became available for employment, real imports and final household consumption. All five components contributed positively to the index this month with final household consumption and retail sales surveys making the largest positive contributions. The strengths among the coincident indicators have been consistently widespread in recent months, and the index has continued to grow but at relatively slower pace.
  • After growing rapidly throughout 2005 and 2006, the leading index has increased slowly since March of this year. At the same time, real GDP growth has also slowed in the second and third quarters of 2007, down to a 3.3 percent annual growth rate (including a 2.9 percent annual rate for the third quarter), from a 4.3 percent average annual rate in the previous two quarters. The behavior of the leading and coincident indexes suggests that the economy should continue growing, albeit at a slow to moderate pace, in the near term.

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

With the increase of 0.3 percent in October, the leading index now stands at 157.7 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in September and increased 0.3 percent in August. During the six-month span through October, the index increased 1.3 percent, and four of the six components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 66.7 percent.

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

With the increase of 0.2 percent in October, the coincident index now stands at 158.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in September and increased 0.2 percent in August. During the six-month span through October, the index increased 1.0 percent, and all five 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) December 11, 2007. Some series are estimated as noted below.

NOTES: Series in the coincident index based on The Conference Board estimates include final household consumption, employment, 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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