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Benchmark Revisions - September 2005

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Released: Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Conference Board announced today that both the leading and the coincident indexes for Korea increased 0.2 percent in May.

  • The leading index increased slightly in May, and April’s small decline was revised up to a small gain as actual data for monthly hours worked became available. With this month’s gain, the leading index has continued to grow at a 1.0-2.0 percent annual rate in recent months and the strength among the leading indicators has become slightly more widespread. This is a slight improvement from the small declines in mid 2004, but it is well below the 5.0 percent growth through the first quarter of 2005.
  • At the same time, real GDP growth slowed to a 1.4 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2005, down from the 3.0 percent average growth over the previous four quarters. The behavior of the leading index in recent months suggests that economic growth should continue in the near term, perhaps slightly above the first quarter’s sluggish rate.

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

With the 0.2 percent increase in May, the leading index now stands at 124.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in April and increased 0.2 percent in March. During the six-month span through May, the leading index increased 1.2 percent, with five of the eight components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 62.5 percent).

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

With the increase of 0.2 percent in May, the coincident index now stands at 112.7 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in April and increased 0.2 percent in March. During the six-month span through May, the coincident index increased 0.4 percent, with three of the four components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 87.5 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 July 8, 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.

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

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