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Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Germany increased 0.4 percent, and the coincident index was unchanged in September.

  • The leading index increased again in September, the sixth consecutive gain, and the strength among the leading indicators has become more widespread in recent months. With September’s gain, the leading index has been growing at a 3.0 – 4.0 percent annual rate, up from essentially no growth at the end of 2004 and beginning of 2005.
  • The coincident index was unchanged in September, but it is still on an upward trend since early 2005. At the same time, real GDP growth picked up to a 2.4 percent annual rate, from a 1.7 percent average rate in the first half of 2005 and a 0.5 percent average rate over the previous four quarters. The improvement in the leading index in recent months suggests that moderate economic growth is likely to continue in the near term.

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

With the 0.4 percent increase in September, the leading index now stands at 105.0 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in August and increased 0.5 percent in July. During the six-month span through September, the leading index increased 1.9 percent, with six of the eight components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 87.5 percent).

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

Holding steady in September, the coincident index now stands at 104.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in both August and July. During the six-month period through September, the coincident index increased 0.5 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 November 22, 2005. Some series are estimated as noted below.