Press Release Archive
Released: Tuesday, June 10, 2003
The Conference Board reports today that the leading index for Japan increased 0.1 percent and the coincident index decreased 0.1 percent in April.
- The leading index increased in early 2002, was then flat for six months, and has been declining since last November. There was an up-tick in April, due mostly to an increase in manufacturing overtime, but this does not reverse the slight downward trend since November.
- While the six-month growth rate of the leading index has been consistently negative since December 2002, the magnitude of the decline is neither as deep nor as widespread as in previous periods of significant economic weakness.
- The coincident index, a measure of current economic activity, declined slightly in April, the third consecutive decline. The flatness in the leading index since mid-2002 has already been reflected in a slowdown of economic activity, and the recent behavior of the leading index suggests continued economic sluggishness in the months ahead.
Leading Indicators. Three of the ten components that make up the leading index increased in April. The positive contributors to the index – in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – include the index of overtime worked, business failures*, and the Tankan Business Survey*. Six components decreased in April. The negative contributors to the index – in order from the largest negative contributor to the smallest – include the six month growth rate of labor productivity*, real money supply, dwelling units started, stock price index, yield spread, and real operating profits*. New orders for machinery and construction* was unchanged.
With an increase of 0.1 percent in April, the leading index now stands at 90.1 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in March and decreased 0.3 percent in February. During the six-month span through April, the index decreased 0.7 percent, and four of the ten components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 40.0 percent).
Coincident Indicators. Two of the six components that make up the coincident index increased in April. The positive contributors – in order from the larger positive contributor to the smaller one – are real wholesale sales and wage and salary income*. Four components decreased in April. The negative contributors to the index– in order from the largest negative contributor to the smallest- include the number of employed persons, real retail sales, industrial production, and real manufacturing sales*.
With the decrease of 0.1 percent in April, the coincident index now stands at 101.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in March and decreased 0.5 percent in February. During the six-month span through April, the index decreased 0.6 percent, and none of the components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 8.3 percent).
Data Availability. The data series used to compute the two composite indexes reported in this release are those available “as of” 5:00 P.M. ET June 9, 2003. Some series are estimated as noted below.
*Notes: The series in the leading index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are real operating profits, business failures, the six-month growth rate of labor productivity, the Tankan business conditions survey, and new orders for machinery and construction. The series in the coincident index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are real manufacturing sales and wage and salary income.
THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.