Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Monday, June 14, 2004

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Korea increased 0.6 percent and the coincident index decreased 0.1 percent in April

  • The leading index increased in April following a downward revised decline in March. Despite continued month-to-month volatility, the leading index is still on an upward trend, and the strength has continued to be widespread. The coincident index declined slightly in April, but it is still well above its recent low in July 2003.
  • While the leading index is still increasing, its growth rate has slowed somewhat so far this year from the rapid pace (about a 6.5 percent annual rate) during the second half of 2003. Real GDP growth has been fluctuating around an average rate of 7.0 percent (annual) since the middle of 2003. The continued growth of the leading index suggests a continuation of real GDP growth, at or slightly below this average rate.

Leading Indicators. Five of the eight components that make up the leading index increased in April. The positive contributors - from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – were letter of credit arrivals, stock prices, real exports FOB, the (inverted) index of inventories to shipments, and monthly hours worked*. Value of machinery orders and authorized building permits declined, while the (inverted) yield of government public bonds remained unchanged in April.

With the 0.6 percent increase in April, the leading index now stands at 123.3 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.5 percent in March and increased 1.7 percent in February. During the six-month span through April, the index increased 2.8 percent, with six of its eight components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Two of the four components that make up the coincident index decreased in April. The negative contributors - from the larger negative contributor to smaller – were total employment and wholesale and retail sales. Industrial production increased, while the (inverted) unemployment rate remained unchanged in April.

With the 0.1 percent decrease in April, the coincident index now stands at 111.8 (1990=100). This index decreased 0.4 percent in March and increased 0.2 percent in February. During the six-month span through April, the coincident index increased 0.6 percent, with three of the four components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 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 June 11, 2004.

Notes: The series in the leading index based on The Conference Board’s estimates are monthly hours worked. There is no forecasted series in the coincident index.


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