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Benchmark Revisions - September 2007

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Released: Thursday, January 15, 2009

This month's release incorporates annual benchmark revisions to the composite economic indexes, which bring them up-to-date with revisions in the source data. Also, the base year of the composite economic indexes has been changed to 2004=100 from 1990=100. These revisions do not change the cyclical properties of the indexes. The indexes are updated throughout the year, but only for the previous six months. Data revisions that fall outside of the moving six-month window are not incorporated until the benchmark revision is made and the entire histories of the indexes are recomputed. As a result, the revised indexes will not be comparable to those issued prior to the benchmark revision.

For more information, please visit us here at http://www.conference-board.org/economics/bci/ or contact us at indicators@conference-board.org.

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for Spain declined 0.5 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI) decreased 0.6 percent in November.

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Download a PDF of the full press release in Spanish.

  • The leading economic index declined for the third consecutive month in November as negative contributions by the order books survey and job placings outweighed positive contributions from the Spanish contribution to Euro M2 and long-term government bond yield (inverted). Between May and November of 2008, the LEI declined by 2.1 percent (about a -4.1 percent annual rate), below the 1.2 percent decline (about a -2.5 percent annual rate) from November 2007 through May 2008. In addition, the weaknesses among the leading indicators remained widespread.
  • The Coincident Economic Index fell for the seventh consecutive month in November as industrial production excluding construction and the retail sales survey made the largest negative contributions. From May to November, the CEI has declined by 3.1 percent (about a -6.0 percent annual rate), well below the 0.5 percent decline (about a -1.1 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. In addition, the weaknesses among the coincident indicators remained very widespread, with none of the components increasing. At the same time, real GDP declined at a 1.0 percent annual rate during the third quarter, down from the 1.0 percent average annual rate of growth for the first half of 2008.
  • The leading economic index has been falling since the first quarter of 2008, decreasing by 3.6 percent since February, its largest decrease since 1992. The coincident economic index has also been falling since its peak in February 2008, experiencing its most severe contraction since the 1992-93 downturn. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that economic activity could contract further in the near term.

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

With the decrease of 0.5 percent in November, the leading economic index now stands at 108.4 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 1.2 percent in October and declined 0.3 percent in September. During the six-month span through November, the index decreased 2.1 percent, and two of the six components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 41.7 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. One of the five components that make up the coincident economic index increased in November. The only positive contributor this month is real imports*. Industrial production excluding construction, retail sales survey, employment*, and final household consumption* declined in November.

With the decrease of 0.6 percent in November, the coincident economic index now stands at 107.7 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.6 percent in October and decreased 0.5 percent in September. During the six-month span through November, the index decreased 3.1 percent, and none of the five components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 0.0 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) January 12, 2009. Some series are estimated as noted below.

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