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Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Thursday, November 14, 2002

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Korea decreased 0.3 percent and the coincident index was unchanged in September.

  • The decline in the leading index during the month of September can be attributed to steep declines in the value of machinery orders and sharp increases in inventory levels. Despite this decline, the leading index remains 5.5 percent above it’s most recent trough, which occurred in April 2001.
  • The coincident index, a measure of current economic conditions, was unchanged for the third consecutive month. The coincident index has been essentially flat since March of this year, and reflects the current sluggishness of the Korean economy. A drop in industrial production was the primary reason for the lack of growth in the coincident index during September.

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

With the decrease of 0.3 percent in September, the leading index now stands at 115.1 (1990=100). This index increased 0.3 percent in August and 0.7 percent July. During the six-month span through September, the index increased 1.2 percent, and four of the eight components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Two of the four components that make up the coincident index decreased in September. The negative contributors to the index - from the larger negative contributor to the smaller- are industrial production and wholesale and retail sales. The positive contributors to the index - from the larger positive contributor to the smaller- are the inverted unemployment rate and total employment.

The coincident index still stands at 111.6 (1990=100). This index remained unchanged in August and increased 0.2 percent in July. During the six-month span through September, the coincident index was unchanged, with only two of four of its components advancing slightly (diffusion index, six-month span equals 37.5 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 November 11, 2002.

*Notes: The series in the leading index based on The Conference Board’s estimates are monthly hours worked.