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Benchmark Revisions - September 2005

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Released: Monday, October 11, 2004

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Korea was unchanged and the coincident index decreased 0.1 percent in August.

  • The leading index was unchanged in August following three consecutive declines. Letters of credit and manufacturing inventories were the major contributors to this month’s weakness, with the financial indicators offsetting this weakness.
  • The leading index increased very rapidly through the first quarter of 2004, declined in the second quarter, and has now been essentially flat in the last three months. At the same time, however, the weakness in the leading index has become more widespread.
  • The coincident index fell slightly again in August, and real GDP growth slowed to a 2.7 percent average rate (annualized) during the first two quarters of 2004 following very strong growth in the second half of 2003. The recent behavior of the leading index suggests that the economy will continue growing, but probably no more rapidly than in the first half of the year.

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

Holding steady in August, the leading index now stands at 121.9 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in both July and June. During the six-month span through August, the leading index decreased 1.1 percent, with three of the four components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 0.0 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Three of the four components that make up the coincident index decreased in August. The negative contributors - from the largest negative contributor to smallest – were wholesale and retail sales, total employment, and industrial production. The (inverted) unemployment rate was unchanged in August.

With the 0.1 percent decrease in August, the coincident index now stands at 111.5 (1990=100). This index decreased 0.2 percent in July and increased 0.2 percent in June. During the six-month span through August, the coincident index decreased 0.8 percent, with none of the four components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 0.0 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 October 8, 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.

THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.

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