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Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Friday, August 30, 2002

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Germany decreased 0.2 percent, while the coincident index decreased 0.1 percent.

  • The leading index decreased modestly in July, its third consecutive decline this year. Continued weakness in the stock market, which has declined over 17.0 percent between May and July of this year, was the primary reason for July's decline.
  • The coincident index, a measure of current economic activity, declined slightly in July. Increasing unemployment, a longstanding problem in Germany, was the reason for July's decline in the coincident index. The unemployment rate has steadily increased since July 2001.

Leading Indicators. Three of the nine components in the leading index decreased in July. The negative contributors to the leading index -in order from the largest negative contributor to the smallest- include stock prices, the yield spread and inverted applications for unemployment compensation*. The positive contributors to the leading index -in order from the largest to the smallest positive contributor- include the growth rate of CPI services, new orders in investment goods industries*. The inventory change series* and new residential construction orders* were both unchanged in July.

With the decrease of 0.2 percent in July, the leading index now stands at 102.2 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in June and 0.2 percent in May. During the six-month span through July, the leading index decreased 0.1 percent, with five of the nine components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 55.6 percent).

Coincident Indicators. The only component in the coincident index to decrease in July was the inverted unemployment rate. Industrial production* increased, while manufacturing sales* and retail trade* were unchanged in July.

The coincident index now stands at 100.2 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index was unchanged in June and decreased 0.1 percent May. During the six-month period through July, the coincident index decreased 0.1 percent, with two of its four components making a positive contribution (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 percent).

Data Availability.The data series used by The Conference Board to compute the two composite indexes reported in the tables in this release are those available "as of" 9 A.M. ET on August 29, 2002. Some series are estimated as noted below.

*Notes: Series in the leading index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are new orders for investment goods industries, consumer confidence, inventory change, new residential construction orders, applications for unemployment compensation, and gross enterprises and properties income. Series in the coincident index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are industrial production, manufacturing sales and retail trade sales.