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Press Release Archive
Released: Thursday, February 8, 2007
The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Korea declined 0.4 percent and the coincident index declined 0.1 percent in December.
- The leading index decreased in December, and November's slight increase was revised up to a larger increase as a result of data revisions. In December, a large positive contribution from letters of credit arrivals was offset by negative contributions from private construction orders, value of machinery orders, and other components. With this month's decline, the growth rate of the leading index has slowed to a 1.7 percent rate from May to December (about a 3.4 percent annual rate). In addition, the strengths among the leading indicators have become somewhat less widespread than weaknesses in December. Throughout most of 2006, the growth rate of the leading index has been fluctuating around a 6.0 percent average annual rate, up from the 5.0 to 5.5 percent average annual rate in 2005.
- The coincident index also decreased slightly in December, and a large positive contribution from monthly cash earnings was offset by a large negative contribution from industrial production. At the same time, real GDP grew at a 4.4 percent annual rate in the third quarter of 2006, slightly up from the 4.1 percent average annual rate in the first half of the year. Despite short-term volatility, the recent behavior in the leading index still suggests that the economy is likely to continue growing at a moderate to strong pace in the near term.
LEADING INDICATORS. Two of the seven components that make up the leading index increased in December. The positive contributors — from the larger positive contributor to the smaller — were letter of credit arrivals and stock prices. Private construction orders, value of machinery orders, the (inverted) index of inventories to shipments, real exports FOB, and the (inverted) yield of government public bonds declined in December.
With the 0.4 percent decrease in December, the leading index now stands at 157.2 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 1.0 percent in November and declined 1.5 percent in October. During the six-month span through December, the leading index increased 1.7 percent, with four of the seven components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 64.3 percent).
COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Two of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in December. The positive contributors to the leading index — in order from the larger positive contributor to the smaller — were monthly cash earnings and total employment. Industrial production and the wholesale and retail sales component declined in December.
With the 0.1 percent decrease in December, the coincident index now stands at 165.7 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in November and increased 0.4 percent in October. During the six-month span through December, the coincident index increased 1.0 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 February 7, 2007.
THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.