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Benchmark Revisions - September 2007

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Released: Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Spain declined 0.1 percent and the coincident index increased 0.1 percent in January.

  • In January, the leading index declined for the first time since June of 2007. A large increase in the Spanish contribution to Euro M2 was more than offset by a sharp drop in the Spanish equity price index and more modest declines in the capital equipment component of industrial production and job placings. Between July 2007 and January 2008, the leading index increased by 1.1 percent (about a 2.3 percent annual rate), roughly the same pace as the previous six months. In addition, the number of components rising over the last six months was equal to the number that were falling.
  • The coincident index increased slightly in January. Final household consumption* has continued to provide the largest positive contribution to the index in recent months. Since July 2007, the coincident index has increased by 0.5 percent (about a 1.0 percent annual rate), well below the 1.3 percent increase (about a 2.6 percent annual rate) for the period between January 2007 and July 2007. Still, the strengths among the coincident indicators have remained very widespread in recent months.
  • The leading index has been increasing at a slower pace since March of 2007 after growing rapidly throughout 2005 and 2006. At the same time, the growth of the coincident index moderated since mid-2007 and real GDP growth slowed to a 3.1 percent average annual rate during the second half of 2007 (including a 3.2 percent rate for the fourth quarter), down from a 3.9 percent average annual rate during the first half of the year. The behavior of the leading and coincident indexes so far still suggests that slow to moderate economic growth should continue in the near term.

LEADING INDICATORS. Three of the 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 inverted long-term government bond yield, and order books survey. The negative contributors —in order from the largest negative contributor to the smallest—are the Spanish equity price index, the capital equipment component of industrial production and job placings.

With the decrease of 0.1 percent in January, the leading index now stands at 158.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in December and increased 0.2 percent in November. During the six-month span through January, the index increased 1.1 percent, and three of the six components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 percent).

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

With the increase of 0.1 percent in January, the coincident index now stands at 158.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in December and remained unchanged in November. During the six-month span through January, the index increased 0.5 percent, and four of the five components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 90.0 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) March 10, 2008. Some series are estimated as noted below.

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