Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Korea decreased 0.2 percent and the coincident index decreased 0.1 percent in April.

  • The leading index fell slightly in April, and there were downward revisions to the previous two months as actual data for monthly hours worked became available. As a result, the growth rate of the leading index has slowed to about a 2.0-3.0 percent annual rate in recent months, down from 5.0 percent growth through the first quarter of 2005, and the strength in the leading index has also become somewhat less widespread.
  • The growth rate of the leading index has been gradually slowing following two years of very strong growth that ended in early 2004. There have also been sharp short-term fluctuations around this underlying trend -- a slight decline in mid 2004, strong growth again in late 2004, and slight weakness again in recent months. At the same time, real GDP growth slowed to a 2.7 percent average growth rate over the last four quarters, including 1.4 percent in the first quarter of 2005. The behavior of the leading index in recent months suggests that the economic growth should continue in the near term, perhaps slightly above the first quarter’s sluggish rate.

Leading Indicators.Three 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 the (inverted) yield of government public bonds, authorized building permits, and value of machinery orders. The (inverted) index of inventories to shipment, stock prices, real exports FOB, and monthly hours worked* declined, while letter of credit arrivals was unchanged in April.

With the 0.2 percent decrease in April, the leading index now stands at 124.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.7 percent in March and declined 1.8 percent in February. During the six-month span through April, the leading index increased 2.0 percent, with four of the eight components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 percent).

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

With the decrease of 0.1 percent in April, the coincident index now stands at 112.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in March and was unchanged in February. During the six-month span through April, the coincident index increased 0.3 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 13, 2005.

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