Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Wednesday, July 23, 2003

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Germany decreased 0.1 percent and the coincident index decreased 0.7 percent in May.

  • The leading index continued its downward trend in May after increasing modestly in April and it is now nearly 3.0 percent below its June 2002 level. The weakness in the leading index remains widespread -- as indicated by the six-month diffusion index. May’s decrease was largely due to weakness in consumer confidence and new orders.
  • The coincident index, a measure of current economic conditions, dropped again in May, continuing its downward trend established after July 2002. It is strongly reflective of the sluggish to negative economic growth that Germany has experienced since last year. The leading index is still signalling that Germany will continue to experience flat or negative economic growth in the remainder of the year.

Leading Indicators. Four of the eight components in the leading index decreased in May. The negative contributors to the leading index - in order from the largest negative contributor to the smallest - are consumer confidence, new orders in investment goods industries, the yield spread and gross enterprises and properties income*. The positive contributors to the leading index -in order from the largest to the smallest positive contributor- are the growth rate of CPI for services, stock prices, new residential construction orders* and the inventory change series*.

The leading index now stands at 99.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in April and decreased 0.5 percent in March. During the six-month span through May, the leading index decreased 1.5 percent, with one of the eight components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 18.8 percent).

Coincident Indicators. All four components that make up the coincident index decreased in May. The negative contributors to the coincident index – in order from the largest negative contributor to the smallest- are employment, industrial production, retail trade sales and manufacturing sales.

With a decrease of 0.7 percent in May, the coincident index now stands at 108.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.5 percent April and decreased 0.2 percent in March. During the six-month period through May, the coincident index decreased 2.4 percent, with all of its components decreasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 0.0 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” 10 A.M. ET on July 22, 2003. Some series are estimated as noted below.

*Notes: Series in the composite indexes for Germany that are based on The Conference Board estimates are inventory change, new residential construction orders, gross enterprises and properties income.