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Released: Thursday, October 17, 2002

The Conference Board announced today that Mexico's leading index increased by 0.1 percent in August and the coincident index decreased by 0.1 percent.

  • The stagnation in Mexico's leading index continued in August. The index has advanced only 2.1 percent since November 2001, its most recent trough. Increasing oil prices and appreciating Mexican equity prices contributed to the modest gain in the leading index during August.
  • The coincident index, a measure of current economic activity, decreased slightly in August for the second consecutive month. Most of this month’s decline resulted from mild weakness in industrial activity and a rising unemployment rate, and is indicative of the muted recovery taking place in Mexico.

Leading Indicators. Four of the six components that make up the leading index increased in August. The positive contributors to the index – from the largest positive contributor to the smallest - are U.S. refiners’ acquisition cost of domestic and imported crude oil, stock prices, the inverted federal funds rate and the inverted real exchange rate. Two components decreased in August. They include net insufficient inventories and the construction component of industrial production*.

The leading index now stands at 106.0 (1990=100). Based on revised data, the leading index was unchanged in July and June. During the six-month span through August, the index increased 1.0 percent, with four of the six components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 66.7 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Two of the four components that make up the coincident index decreased in August. The negative contributors include industrial production and the unemployment rate. Retail sales increased, while the number of people employed (measured by IMSS beneficiaries) was unchanged.

The coincident index now stands at 113.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, the coincident index decreased 0.3 percent in July and increased 0.4 percent in June. During the six-month span through August, the index increased 1.0 percent, with three components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).

Data Availability. The data series used to compute the two composite indexes reported in the tables in this release are those available “as of” 12 P.M. (MEX) October 15, 2002. Some series are estimated as noted below.

*Notes: Series in the leading index based on The Conference Board estimates include industrial production - construction component. The series in the coincident index based on The Conference Board estimates include retail sales and industrial production.


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