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Released: Monday, April 29, 2013

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the Euro Area decreased 0.4 percent in March and now stands at 105.8 (2004=100), after increasing 0.1 percent in February and increasing 1.4 percent in January.

“The decline in the LEI suggests that the Euro Area economy remains very weak and a recovery in the coming months continues to be unlikely,” says Bert Colijn, Economist for Europe at The Conference Board. “Business and consumer confidence have dropped as a result of political instability in Italy, the Cypriot bailout process, and increased concerns about the negative growth impact of the austerity programs in various countries. However, financial stress remains low which suggests that stability in Europe’s financial system is still more solid than a year ago.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the Euro Area, which measures current economic activity, decreased 0.1 percent in March, according to preliminary estimates. The index now stands at 101.0 (2004 = 100)*. The CEI was unchanged in February and decreased 0.1 percent in January.

About The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the Euro Area

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® for the Euro Area was launched in January 2009. Plotted back to 1987, this index has successfully signaled turning points in the business cycle of the bloc of countries that now constitute the Euro Area, defined by the common currency zone.

The Conference Board currently produces leading economic indexes for ten other individual countries, including Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S.

The seven components of The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® for the Euro Area include:

Economic Sentiment Index (source: European Commission DG-ECFIN)
Index of Residential Building Permits Granted (source: Eurostat)
EURO STOXX® Index (source: STOXX Limited)
Money Supply (M2) (source: European Central Bank)
Interest Rate Spread (source: European Central Bank)
Eurozone Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (source: Markit Economics)
Eurozone Service Sector Future Business Activity Expectations Index (source: Markit Economics)  

To view The Conference Board calendar for 2013 indicator releases:

* Series in The Conference Board LEI for the Euro Area that are based on The Conference Board estimates are real money supply and residential building permits. All series in The Conference Board CEI for the Euro Area are based on The Conference Board estimates (employment, industrial production, retail trade, and manufacturing turnover).

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world’s leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.