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Benchmark Revisions - November 2006

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Released: Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Japan remained unchanged and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) decreased 0.1 percent in February.

  • In February, The Conference Board LEI for Japan was unchanged. The large positive contribution from business failures (inverted) was offset by the large negative contribution from dwelling units started. The index increased by 2.0 percent (about a 4.1 percent annual rate) from August 2013 to February 2014, much slower than the growth of 4.7 percent (about a 9.5 percent annual rate) in the previous six months. However, the strengths among the leading indicators continued to be very widespread, with nine out of ten components advancing in the recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Japan edged down in February, with industrial production making the largest negative contribution. The six-month growth rate of the coincident economic index for the period ending in February 2014 increased 0.8 percent (a 1.7 percent annual rate), a reversal from the contraction of 0.2 percent (a -0.4 percent annual rate) in the previous six months. In addition, the strengths among the coincident indicators continued to be widespread. At the same time, real GDP expanded at a 0.7 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2013, after growth of 0.9 percent (annual rate) in the third quarter.
  • The leading economic index for Japan did not improve in February and its six-month growth rate has slowed considerably compared to early 2013. Meanwhile, the CEI fell slightly, but its six-month change remains in the positive territory. Taken together, the slower growth in the LEI paired with modest growth in the CEI, suggests that the current expansion in economic activity is unlikely to accelerate in the near term.

LEADING INDICATORS.  Six of the ten components that make up The Conference Board LEI for Japan increased in February.  The positive contributors to the index – in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – include the (inverted) business failures, the Tankan business conditions survey, the six-month growth rate of labor productivity, the interest rate spread, the new orders for machinery and construction component*, and real operating profits*.  The negative contributors – in order from the largest negative contributor to the smallest – include dwelling units started, stock prices and the index of overtime worked. Real money supply remained unchanged in February.

The Conference Board LEI for Japan was unchanged in February and now stands at 100.8 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.3 percent in January and decreased 0.2 percent in December.  During the six-month span through February, the index increased 2.0 percent, and nine of the ten components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 90.0 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS.  Only one of the four components that make up The Conference Board CEI for Japan increased in February. The positive contributor to the index was the number of employed persons. The industrial production and retail, wholesale, and manufacturing sales* components declined in February, while the wage and salary component remained unchanged.

With the decrease of 0.1 percent in February, The Conference Board CEI for Japan now stands at 96.9 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in January and 0.1 percent in December.  During the six-month span through February, the index increased 0.8 percent, and three of the four components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).

DATA AVAILABILITY AND NOTES.  The data series used to compute The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Japan and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for Japan reported in this release are those available “as of” 10:00 A.M. ET April 7, 2014.  Some series are estimated as noted below.

* The series in The Conference Board LEI that are based on our estimates are the six month growth rate of labor productivity, real operating profits and new orders for machinery.  The series in The Conference Board CEI that is based on our estimates is real manufacturing sales.

THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.

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