Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Thursday, April 17, 2003

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

  • The leading index increased by 0.1 percent in February after a large drop in January, however it should be noted that weakness has been concentrated, with declining stock prices accounting for a majority of the index’s weakness in both these months.
  • Recent declines in the six-month growth-rate of the leading index may be signaling the potential for slower output growth for the Korean economy over the next few quarters.
  • The coincident index, a measure of current economic conditions, decreased in February. However, three-quarters of the components of the coincident index have continued increasing in recent months.

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

With the increase of 0.1 percent in February, the leading index now stands at 115.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.9 percent in January and increased 0.2 percent in December. During the six-month span through February, the index increased 0.7 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 February. The positive contributors to the index - from the largest positive contributor to the smallest - are industrial production, the inverted unemployment rate and total employment. The only negative contributor to the index was wholesale and retail sales.

With the decrease of 0.1 percent in February, the coincident index now stands at 111.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in January and increased 0.4 percent in December. During the six-month span through February, the coincident index increased 0.3 percent, with three of its components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).


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