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Released: Friday, May 18, 2012

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Spain declined 0.9 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) decreased 0.2 percent in March.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Spain decreased in March, after increasing slightly over the previous three months, with all its components making negative contributions this month. In the six-month period ending March 2012, the leading economic index declined by 1.5 percent (about a -3.0 percent annual rate), about the same as the 1.7 percent decline (about a -3.3 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, declined again in March.  Between September 2011 and March 2012, the coincident economic index declined by 1.8 percent (about a -3.6 percent annual rate), steeper than the 1.0 percent decline (about a -2.0 percent annual rate) during the previous six months.  Additionally, the weaknesses among the coincident indicators have continued to be very widespread.  Meanwhile, real GDP contracted at a 1.4 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2012 according to flash estimates from Eurostat, after a contraction of 1.2 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of last year.
  • In March, The Conference Board LEI for Spain started to decline again after briefly rising in December and January, and its six-month growth rate fell deeper into negative territory. At the same time, The Conference Board CEI for Spain has been declining for almost a year. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that the current contraction in Spain is unlikely to end in the near term.

LEADING INDICATORS. None of the six components that make up The Conference Board LEI for Spain increased in March.  The negative contributors — in order from the largest negative contributor to the smallest — are order books survey, job placings, the Spanish equity price index, the Spanish contribution to Euro M2, the inverted long-term government bond yield, and the capital equipment component of industrial production.   

With the decrease of 0.9 percent in March, The Conference Board LEI for Spain now stands at 104.3 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in February and increased 0.5 percent in January.  During the six-month span through March, the index decreased 1.5 percent, and one of the six components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 25.0 percent).

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

With the decrease of 0.2 percent in March, The Conference Board CEI for Spain now stands at 98.1 (2004=100).   Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.2 percent in February and decreased 0.2 percent in January.  During the six-month span through March, the index decreased 1.8 percent, and one of the five components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 20.0 percent).

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 15, 2012. 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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