Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Monday, December 13, 2004

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Korea increased 0.1 percent, while the coincident index decreased 0.1 percent in October.

  • The leading index increased slightly for the third consecutive month in October, with small increases in five of the eight components offsetting small declines in the other three components. While the slightly positive growth in the leading index over the last three months is an improvement from a decline in the second quarter, the leading index is still weak compared to the very rapid growth through the first quarter of 2004.
  • Real GDP growth slowed to a 2.7 percent average annual rate during the first three quarters of 2004, down from very strong growth in the second half of 2003. The current behavior of the leading index in recent months suggests that this sluggish rate of economic growth is likely to persist in the near term.

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

With the 0.1 percent increase in October, the leading index now stands at 122.3 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in both September and August. During the six-month span through October, the leading index decreased 1.5 percent, with only one of the eight components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 12.5 percent).

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

With the 0.1 percent decrease in October, the coincident index now stands at 111.7 (1990=100). This index increased 0.4 percent in September and decreased 0.2 percent in August. During the six-month span through October, the coincident index decreased 0.1 percent, with two of the four components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 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 December 10, 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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