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Released: Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Germany increased 0.5 percent, and the coincident index increased 0.3 percent in June.

  • The leading index increased sharply in June after staying flat over the last three months, and the strengths and weaknesses among the leading indicators have been somewhat balanced during this period. June’s gain keeps the leading index on a slightly rising trend. This is an improvement from the small declines through the first half of 2005, but it is still well below the average growth rate during economic expansions.
  • The coincident index increased in June and it has been on a flat to slightly rising trend over the past year. At the same time, real GDP increased at a 0.04 percent annual rate in the second quarter of 2005, down from the 3.0 percent rate in the first quarter, but up from a small decline (a -0.4 percent average rate) in the second half of 2004. The moderate growth in the leading index suggests that sluggish economic growth should not persist and the economy is likely to continue growing more rapidly in the near term.

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

With the 0.5 percent increase in June, the leading index now stands at 103.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index was unchanged in both May and April. During the six-month span through June, the leading index increased 0.2 percent, with four of the eight components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 percent).

Coincident Indicators.Three of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in June. The positive contributors to the coincident index were industrial production, manufacturing sales, and retail trade. Employed persons* was unchanged in June.

With the increase of 0.3 percent in June, the coincident index now stands at 104.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in May and declined 0.2 percent in April. During the six-month period through June, the coincident index increased 0.4 percent, with two of the four components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 62.5 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 August 23, 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 and gross enterprises and properties income. There are no series in the coincident index for Germany that are based on The Conference Board estimates.


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