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Press Release Archive
Released: Wednesday, June 9, 2004
The Conference Board reports today that the leading index for Japan increased 0.1 percent and the coincident index increased 0.6 percent in April.
- The leading index increased slightly in April, but the previous two months were revised down sharply as actual data for manufacturing productivity became available. As a result, the leading index has slowed from its recent peak growth rate reached late last year, and the strength in the leading index has become somewhat less widespread.
- The coincident index increased in April following declines in the previous two months. In addition, the previous several months were revised down as actual manufacturing sales data became available. As a result, the coincident index has been volatile around a slightly rising trend since the middle of 2002.
- Consistent with the very strong growth rate of the leading index in the second half of 2003, real GDP growth picked up to a 6.3% average rate over the last two quarters. Although there is still uncertainty over exactly how much the trend of the leading index has slowed, its more moderate growth in recent months suggests that there may be some slowing in the rate of economic growth this year.
Leading Indicators.Seven 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 stock prices, new orders for machinery and construction*, the Tankan business conditions survey, real money supply, yield spread, real operating profits*, and the index of overtime worked. Three of the ten components that make up the leading index declined 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, (inverted) business failures, dwelling units started.
With an increase of 0.1 percent in April, the leading index now stands at 96.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.4 percent in both March and February. During the six-month span through April, the index increased 1.4 percent, and seven of ten components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 70.0 percent).
Coincident Indicators.Four of the six components that make up the coincident index increased in April. The positive contributors to the index – in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – include industrial production, real wholesale sales, number of employed persons, and wage and salary income*. Real manufacturing sales* and real retail sales decreased in April.
With a 0.6 percent increase in April, the coincident index now stands at 101.7 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.2 percent in March and decreased 1.2 percent in February. During the six-month span through April, the index decreased 0.8 percent, and three of the six components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 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 8, 2004. 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, six month growth rate of labor productivity, and new orders for machinery. 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.