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Press Release Archive
Released: Thursday, April 19, 2012
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Korea increased 2.8 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for Korea increased 0.4 percent in February.
- The Conference Board LEI for Korea increased sharply in February, with the (inverted) index of manufacturing inventories to shipments and private construction orders making the largest contributions to the gain. During the six-month period ending February 2012, the leading economic index increased by 2.0 percent (about a 4.0 percent annual rate), up from 0.3 percent (about a 0.7 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. Additionally, the strengths among the leading indicators were more widespread than the weaknesses in the last six months.
- The Conference Board CEI for Korea, a measure of current economic activity, also increased in February, its fifth consecutive rise. Despite the increase in February, the six-month growth rate of the coincident economic index stands at 1.2 percent (about a 2.4 percent annual rate), below the 2.6 percent increase (about a 5.2 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. Nevertheless, the strengths among the coincident indicators have remained widespread in recent months. At the same time, real GDP grew at 1.3 percent (annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2011, down from the 3.4 percent growth (annual rate) in the third quarter this year.
- The Conference Board LEI for Korea has been increasing for three consecutive months through February, and its six-month growth rate also turned positive for the first time since August of last year. Meanwhile, the upward trend in The Conference Board CEI for Korea continued through February, although the rate of growth in the index remains lower than during the first half of last year. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that although the leading economic index has improved in the last three months, it is too early to conclude that economic growth will pick up in the near term.
LEADING INDICATORS. Six of the seven components that make up The Conference Board LEI for Korea increased in February. The positive contributors – from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – were the (inverted) index of inventories to shipments, private construction orders, real exports FOB, letter of credit arrivals, stock prices, and value of machinery orders. The (inverted) yield of government public bonds was the only negative contributor this month.
With the 2.8 percent increase in February, The Conference Board LEI for Korea now stands at 123.3 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in January and increased 0.4 percent in December. During the six-month span through February, the leading economic index increased 2.0 percent, with six of the seven components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 85.7 percent).
COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Three of the four components that make up The Conference Board CEI for Korea increased in February. The positive contributors – in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – were total employment, industrial production, and monthly cash earnings*. The wholesale and retail sales component declined in February.
With the 0.4 percent increase in February, The Conference Board CEI for Korea now stands at 117.3 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in January and increased 0.3 percent in December. During the six-month span through February, the coincident economic index increased 1.2 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 Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for Korea reported in this release are those available “as of” 10 A.M. (ET) on April 18, 2012.
THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.