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Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Germany increased 0.1 percent, and the coincident index increased 0.2 percent in October.

  • The leading index increased slightly in October -- the seventh consecutive increase. At the same time, there were small downward revisions to the previous several months as actual data for inventory change and gross enterprises and properties income for the third quarter of 2005 became available. With October’s small gain, the leading index has been growing at about a 3.0 percent annual rate in recent months, up from essentially no growth at the end of 2004 and beginning of 2005. In addition, the strength among the leading indicators has become somewhat more widespread in recent months.
  • The coincident index also increased slightly in October, and its upward trend has strengthened 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 continued improvement in the leading index suggests that the recent pick up in economic activity is likely to persist in the near term.

Leading Indicators. Four of the eight components in the leading index increased in October. 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 yield spread, and the inventory change series*. The growth rate of CPI for services, gross enterprises and properties income*, and new residential construction orders*declined, while stock prices remained unchanged in October.

With the 0.1 percent increase in October, the leading index now stands at 104.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in September and increased 0.1 percent in August. During the six-month span through October, the leading index increased 1.4 percent, with six of the eight components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).

Coincident Indicators. All four components that make up the coincident index increased in October. The positive contributors to the coincident index were industrial production, employed persons*, retail trade, and manufacturing sales.

With the 0.2 percent increase in October, the coincident index now stands at 105.1 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index was unchanged in September and increased 0.2 percent in August. During the six-month period through October, the coincident index increased 1.0 percent, with all four components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100.0 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 December 19, 2005. Some series are estimated as noted below.