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Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Tuesday, February 18, 2003

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Korea increased 0.1 percent and the coincident index increased 0.4 percent in December.

  • Although the leading index for Korea increased only 0.1 percent in December, this increase marks its third consecutive monthly increase, with the index gaining 1.4 percent since September 2002. Declines in machinery orders and the index of inventories to shipments were offset by strength in the stock market and building permits.
  • The continuing upward trend in the leading index moderated at the end of 2002 and the proportion of leading indicators that are rising over six months, while still high, has fallen. This suggests the pace of economic activity will be moderate in the first half of 2003, however, external geopolitical factors may adversely impact the economic outlook.
  • The coincident index, a measure of current economic conditions, increased in December for the first time since July 2002. Improvements in industrial production and employment pushed the index up in December.

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

With the increase of 0.1 percent in December, the leading index now stands at 116.3 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in November and increased 1.0 percent in October. During the six-month span through December, the index increased 1.7 percent, and five of the eight components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 62.5 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Three of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in December. The positive contributors to the index - from the larger positive contributor to the smaller- are total employment, industrial production and the inverted unemployment rate. The only negative contributor to the index was wholesale and retail sales.

With the increase of 0.4 percent in December, the coincident index stands at 111.8 (1990=100). This index declined –0.1 percent in November and was unchanged in October. During the sixmonth span through December, the coincident index increased 0.3 percent, with three of its components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 87.5 percent).