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Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Thursday, December 12, 2002

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Korea increased 0.9 percent and the coincident index was unchanged in October.

  • The leading index for Korea jumped in October by almost a full percentage point to 116.1. Much of the increase was a result of strength in the industrial sector of the economy, with increasing machinery orders, declining inventories and increased export financing for the manufacturing sector responsible for the bulk of October’s gain.
  • The coincident index, a measure of current economic conditions, was unchanged for the fourth consecutive month. The coincident index appears to be stagnating, and is reflective of the current state of the Korean economy. The weakness in this index during October can be attributed to a deteriorating labor market.

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

With the increase of 0.9 percent in October, the leading index now stands at 116.1 (1990=100). This index decreased 0.3 percent in September and 0.4 percent in August. During the six-month span through October, the index increased 2.5 percent, and six of the eight components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).

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

The coincident index still stands at 111.6 (1990=100). This index remained unchanged in September and August. During the six-month span through October, the coincident index was unchanged, with three of four of its components advancing slightly (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 December 10, 2002.

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