Press Release Archive
Released: Wednesday, September 10, 2003
The Conference Board reports today that the leading index for Japan increased 0.8 percent and the coincident index decreased 0.3 percent in July.
- The leading index increased for the third consecutive month in July. The recent strength in the leading index has been widespread, as indicated by an 80.0 percent level of the six-month diffusion index.
- The coincident index, a measure of current economic activity, decreased slightly in July. Nonetheless, the coincident index has been fluctuating around a gradually rising trend over the past year.
- The leading index signaled a weakening of economic activity in 2002 and early 2003, and GDP growth slowed to a low of less than 2.5% in the fourth quarter of 2002 and first quarter of 2003. The recent improvement in the leading index is signaling a pickup in economic growth in the near term, and some strengthening has already occurred in the second quarter.
Leading Indicators. Six of the ten components that make up the leading index increased in July. The positive contributors to the index – in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – include (inverted) business failures, index of overtime worked, stock prices, real money supply, yield spread, and the Tankan business conditions survey*. Three components decreased in July. 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*, new orders for machinery and construction*, and real operating profits*.
With an increase of 0.8 percent in July, the leading index now stands at 92.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.5 percent in June and increased 0.6 percent in May. During the six-month span through July, the index increased 1.3 percent, and eight of the ten components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 80.0 percent).
Coincident Indicators. One of the six components that make up the coincident index increased in July. The positive contributor was industrial production. The negative contributors to the index – in order from the largest negative contributor to the smallest – include number of employed persons, real retail sales, and real wholesale sales. Real manufacturing sales* and wage and salary income* were unchanged.
With a decrease in July, the coincident index now stands at 101.9 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in June and increased 0.6 percent in May. During the six-month span through July, the index decreased 0.3 percent, and two of the six components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 33.3 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 September 8, 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, 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.