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Released: Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index®(LEI) for Spain declined 0.6 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index®(CEI) increased 0.1 percent in March.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Spain declined in March, following three consecutive monthly increases. Large drops in the order books survey and job placings more than offset the small gain in the capital equipment component of industrial production. The six-month change in the index stands at -0.9 percent (a -1.8 percent annual rate) in the period ending March 2011, down from 0.1 percent (a 0.2 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. In addition, the weaknesses among the leading indicators have been very widespread in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Spain, a measure of current economic activity, increased slightly in March. Between September 2010 and March 2011, the coincident economic index increased 0.3 percent (a 0.6 percent annual rate), a reversal from the decline of 0.3 percent (a -0.6 percent annual rate) between March and September 2010. In addition, the strengths among the coincident indicators have been widespread in recent months. Meanwhile, real GDP increased at a 0.9 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2010, following a decline of 0.1 percent annual rate in the third quarter.
  • The Conference Board LEI for Spain resumed declining in March, after increasing for the past three months. In addition, its six-month change has fallen further amid widespread weakness among the components. Meanwhile, The Conference Board CEI for Spain has risen slightly for the past several months, after having been on a modest downtrend since mid-2010. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes and their components suggests that the economy will likely remain weak in the near term.

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

With the decrease of 0.6 percent in March, The Conference Board LEI for Spain now stands at 107.2 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in February and increased 0.9 percent in January.  During the six-month span through March, the index decreased 0.9 percent, and one of the six components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 16.7 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Four of the five components that make up The Conference Board CEI for Spain increased in March. The positive contributors — from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — are final household consumption*, industrial production excluding construction, retail sales, and real imports*.  Employment* declined in March.

With the increase of 0.1 percent in March, The Conference Board CEI for Spain now stands at 101.4 (2004=100).   Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in February and increased 0.1 percent in January.  During the six-month span through March, the index increased 0.3 percent, and three of the five components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 70.0 percent).

* See notes under data availability.

DATA AVAILABILITY.  The data series used to compute The Conference Board Leading Economic Index®(LEI) for Spain and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index®(CEI) for Spain reported in the tables in this release are those available “as of” 10 A.M. (ET) May 16, 2011. Some series are estimated as noted below.

NOTES: Series in The Conference Board CEI for Spain that are based on our estimates include final household consumption, employment, and real imports. 

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

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