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Benchmark Revisions - March 2007

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Released: Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Germany decreased 0.2 percent, and the coincident index was unchanged in May.

  • The leading index declined in May, the fourth decline in the last five months, and weaknesses among the leading indicators has become somewhat more widespread. The leading index has declined at about a 1.0 percent annual rate in the last six months, down from positive growth of about 2.5 percent in late 2004 and even stronger 5.0 percent growth in the second half of 2003.
  • The coincident index was unchanged in May following a small decline in April and no change in the previous two months. At the same time, real GDP increased at a 4.2 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2005, up from a small decline (a -0.4 percent average rate) in the second half of 2004. The moderate weakness in the leading index in recent months suggests that the strong economic growth reported in the first quarter of 2005 will not persist, but an economic decline is not likely either.

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

With the 0.2 percent decrease in May, the leading index now stands at 102.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index was unchanged in April and declined 0.4 percent in March. During the six-month span through May, the leading index declined 0.6 percent, with three of the eight components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 37.5 percent).

Coincident Indicators.Two of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in May. The positive contributors to the coincident index were industrial production and manufacturing sales. Employed persons* and retail trade declined in May.

Holding steady in May, the coincident index now stands at 104.2 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.2 percent in April and was unchanged in March. During the six-month period through May, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent, with three of the four components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).

Data Availability.The data series used to compute the two composite indexes reported in this release are those available “as of” 10:00 A.M. ET July 19, 2005. Some series are estimated as noted below.

NOTES: Series in the leading index for Germany that are based on The Conference Board estimates are inventory change, new residential construction orders, and gross enterprises and properties income. Series in the coincident index for Germany that are based on The Conference Board estimates include employed persons.

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

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