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Released: Thursday, September 26, 2002

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Germany decreased 0.3 percent, while the coincident index remained unchanged in August.

  • The drop in the leading index this month marks the fourth consecutive decline this year. Continued weakness in the stock market, coupled with falling construction orders and a flattening of the yield-curve contributed to the August decline in the leading index.
  • Despite this weakness over the past several months, the leading index still remains 4.8 percent above its most recent peak, which occurred in March 2000.
  • The coincident index, a measure of current economic activity, was flat in August. This index is now 1.7 percent below its most recent peak, which occurred in March 2001, and is indicative of the sluggish GDP growth that Germany has experienced in recent months.

Leading Indicators. Three of the nine components in the leading index decreased in August. The negative contributors to the leading index -in order from the largest negative contributor to the smallest- include stock prices, new residential construction orders* and the yield spread. 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* and inverted applications for unemployment compensation*. The inventory change series*, consumer confidence, and enterprises and properties income* were all unchanged in August.

With the decrease of 0.3 percent in August, the leading index now stands at 101.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.5 percent in July and decreased 0.1 percent in June. During the six-month span through August, the leading index decreased 0.9 percent, with four of the nine components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 44.4 percent)..

Coincident Indicators. All components in the coincident index for Germany were unchanged during the month of August 2002*.

The coincident index now stands at 100.2 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.1 percent in July and increased 0.1 percent in June. During the six-month period through August, 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 September 25, 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.

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

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