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Benchmark Revisions - September 2007

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Released: Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for Spain declined 0.5 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI) decreased 0.4 percent in December.

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  • The LEI for Spain declined for the fourth consecutive month in December as negative contributions by the capital equipment component of industrial production and order books survey offset positive contributions by the Spanish contribution to Euro money supply (M2) and long-term government bond yield (inverted). Between June and December 2008, the LEI declined by 2.1 percent (about a -4.1 percent annual rate), roughly the same rate as the 2.0 percent decline (about a -3.9 percent annual rate) between December 2007 and June 2008. In addition, the weaknesses among the leading indicators have been widespread in recent months.
  • The CEI for Spain fell for the eighth consecutive month in December as industrial production made the largest negative contribution as it has in every month since April. During the past six months, the CEI has declined by 3.4 percent (about a -6.6 percent annual rate), well below the 1.3 percent decline (about a -2.5 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. Additionally, the weaknesses among the coincident indicators remained very widespread, with none of the CEI components increasing during the past six months. 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 LEI for Spain has been falling since the first quarter of 2008, decreasing by 4.1 percent since February, its largest decrease since 1992. The CEI for Spain, a measure of current economic activity, has also been falling since its peak in February 2008, experiencing its largest contraction since 1984. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that the contraction in economic activity will continue in the near term.

LEADING INDICATORS. Three of the six components that make up The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for Spain increased in December. 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 the Spanish equity price index. The negative contributors — in order from the largest negative contributor to the smallest — are the capital equipment component of industrial production, order books survey, and job placings.

With the decrease of 0.5 percent in December, the LEI now stands at 107.9 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.5 percent in November and declined 1.2 percent in October. During the six-month span through December, the index decreased 2.1 percent, and two of the six components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 33.3 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Two of the five components that make up the CEI for Spain increased in December. The positive contributors — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — are retail sales survey, and real imports*. Industrial production excluding construction, employment*, and final household consumption* declined in December.

With the decrease of 0.4 percent in December, the CEI now stands at 106.7 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.8 percent in November and decreased 0.7 percent in October. During the six-month span through December, the index decreased 3.4 percent, and none of the five components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 0.0 percent).

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

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