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Released: Thursday, May 23, 2013
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Germany increased 0.3 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index®(CEI) increased 0.2 percent in March.
- The Conference Board LEI for Germany continued to rise in March, with the yield spread, stock price index and new orders in investment goods industries making the largest positive contributions. Between September 2012 and March 2013, the leading economic index increased by1.3 percent (about a 2.6 percent annual rate), a large improvement from its decline of 2.9 percent (about a -5.8 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. In addition, the strengths among the leading indicators have been more widespread than the weaknesses in recent months.
- The Conference Board CEI for Germany, a measure of current economic activity, increased in March. In the six-month period ending in March, the coincident economic index edged up by 0.2 percent (about a 0.4 percent annual rate), a reversal from its 0.3 percent decline (about a -0.6 percent annual rate) in the previous six months. During this same period, the strengths and weaknesses among the coincident indicators have been balanced. Meanwhile, real GDP rose by 0.3 percent (annual rate) in the first quarter of 2013, after contracting at 2.7 percent (annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2012.
- The LEI for Germany increased for a fourth consecutive month in March, and the strengths among the leading indicators are very widespread. Meanwhile, the CEI for Germany improved for the second time in three months, after declining throughout the second half of 2012. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that the German economy will probably continue to grow at a slow pace in the near term.
LEADING INDICATORS. Five of the seven components in The Conference Board LEI for Germany increased in March. The positive contributors — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — were the yield spread, stock prices, new orders in investment goods industries, consumer confidence, and inventory change*. Negative contributors — in order from larger to smaller — were new residential construction orders* and gross enterprises and properties income*.
With the 0.3 percent increase in March, The Conference Board LEI for Germany now stands at 103.9 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in February and increased 0.4 percent in January. During the six-month span through March, the index increased 1.3 percent, with six of the seven components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 85.7 percent).
COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Three of the four components that make up The Conference Board CEI for Germany increased in March. The positive contributors were industrial production, employed persons, and manufacturing sales, while retail trade was unchanged in March.
With the 0.2 percent increase in March, The Conference Board CEI for Germany now stands at 107.3 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in February and increased 0.4 percent in January. During the six-month period through March, the index increased 0.2 percent, with two of the four components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 percent).
* See notes under data availability.
DATA AVAILABILITY The data series used to compute The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Germany and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for Germany reported in this release are those available “as of” 10:00 A.M. ET May 21, 2013. Some series are estimated as noted below.
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