Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Monday, October 14, 2002

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Korea increased 0.2 percent and the coincident index was flat in August.

  • The strength in the leading index during August was a result of declining inventory levels, increasing exports, and lower interest rates. With the latest increase, the leading index is now only 0.5 percent below its most recent peak, which occurred in May 2002.
  • The coincident index, a measure of current economic conditions, was unchanged in August. After a fairly consistent upward trend that began in December 2000, the coincident index has been essentially flat since March of this year.

Leading Indicators. Four of the eight components that make up the leading index increased in August. The positive contributors - from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – are the inverted index of inventories to shipments for manufacturing, real exports, the inverted yield of government public bonds, and letter of credit arrivals in manufacturing*. The negative contributors – from the largest negative contributor to the smallest – are stock prices, value of machinery orders in manufacturing, authorized building permits*, and monthly hours worked*.

With the increase of 0.2 percent in August, the leading index now stands at 114.5 (1990=100). This index increased 0.4 percent in July and decreased 1.0 percent in June. During the six-month span through August, the index increased 2.5 percent, and seven of the eight components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 81.3 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Two of the four components that make up the coincident index decreased in August. The negative contributors to the index - from the larger negative contributor to the smaller- are the inverted unemployment rate and total employment. Wholesale and retail sales were flat while industrial production increased.

The coincident index now stands at 111.6 (1990=100). This index increased 0.2 percent in July and decreased 0.2 percent in June. During the six-month span through August, the index increased 0.3 percent, with three of four of its components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 62.5 percent).

Data Availability. The data series used to compute the two composite indexes reported in this release are those available "as of" 10 A.M. (ET) on October 10, 2002.

*Notes: The series in the leading index based on The Conference Board’s estimates are monthly hours worked, letters of credit arrivals and authorized building permits.