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Press Release Archive
Released: Monday, March 15, 2004
The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Korea decreased 0.1 percent and the coincident index increased 0.5 percent in January.
- The leading index declined slightly in January following a large increase in December, and there were significant upward revisions to the last several months. As a result, the leading index has increased at a 6.0 percent annual rate from its recent low in March 2003, although it continues to be volatile from month to month because of fluctuations in building permits and the inventory to shipment ratio. Despite January’s small decline, the growth rate of the leading index has actually strengthened somewhat in recent months and this strength has been widespread.
- January’s increase keeps the coincident index on an upward trend from the most recent low in July 2003. In addition, real GDP growth picked up to a 3.5 percent annual rate in the third quarter of 2003 following small declines in the first half of the year. The recent strength in the leading index is signaling some further improvement in the rate of economic growth through the first half of 2004.
Leading Indicators. Four of the eight components that make up the leading index increased in January. The positive contributors - from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – were value of machinery orders, stock prices, real exports FOB, and letter of credit arrivals. Four of the eight components that make up the leading index decreased in January. The negative contributors – from the largest negative contributor to the smallest –were the (inverted) index of inventories to shipments, authorized building permits, monthly hours worked, and the (inverted) yield of government public bonds.
With the 0.1 percent decrease in January, the leading index now stands at 121.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 1.4 percent in December and decreased 0.1 percent in November. During the six-month span through January, the index increased 2.5 percent, with six of its eight components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).
Coincident Indicators. All four components that make up the coincident index increased in January. The positive contributors - from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – were total employment, the (inverted) unemployment rate, wholesale and retail sales, and industrial production.
With the 0.5 percent increase in January, the coincident index now stands at 112.1 (1990=100). This index increased 0.3 percent in December and increased 0.1 percent in November. During the six-month span through January, the coincident index increased 1.3 percent, with all four components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100.0 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 March 12, 2004.
Notes: The series in the leading index based on The Conference Board’s estimates are monthly hours worked, and letter of credit arrivals in manufacturing. There is no forecasted series in the coincident index.
THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.