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Benchmark Revisions - September 2007

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Released: Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Conference Board announced today that both the leading index and coincident index for Spain increased by 0.3 percent in August.

  • The leading index has increased again in August, the fourth increase in the past six months. Spanish contribution to Euro M2 was the largest positive contributor in August, as it has been in three of the past four months, while the job placings component was the largest negative contributor, experiencing a large decline for the second time in the past three months. Despite the gain in August, the six-month growth rate of the leading index has gradually slowed throughout 2007, down to 1.2 percent (a 2.4 percent annual rate) from the 2.7 percent growth rate of the index (a 5.5 percent annual rate) in the beginning of 2007. In addition, the strengths and the weaknesses among the leading indicators have been roughly balanced in recent months.
  • The coincident index also increased again in August, continuing to grow at a consistent pace as it has throughout 2007. Employment and final household consumption have been making the largest positive contributions to this index in recent months, but the strengths among the coincident indicators have been very widespread during this period.
  • Despite the slight pick up in August, the leading index was essentially flat between March and July, following a long period of steady growth throughout 2005 and 2006. At the same time, through the first half of this year, real GDP has grown at an average annual rate of 4.0 percent (including a 3.8 percent annual rate for the second quarter), continuing to grow within the range of the 3.5 to 4.5 percent average annual rate that has prevailed since the end of 2004. The behavior of the leading and coincident indexes continues to suggest that economic growth is likely to continue at a moderate pace in the near term.

LEADING INDICATORS. Three of the six components that make up the leading index increased in August. The positive contributors — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — are the Spanish contribution to Euro M2, the inverted long-term government bond yield, and order books survey. The negative contributors — in order from the largest negative contributor to the smallest — are job placings, the capital equipment component of industrial production, and the Spanish equity price index.

With the increase of 0.3 percent in August, the leading index now stands at 157 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.4 percent in July and declined 0.3 percent in June. During the six-month span through August, the index increased 1.2 percent, and three of the six components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. All of the five components that make up the coincident index increased in August. The positive contributors — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — are employment*, final household consumption*, retail sales survey, industrial production excluding construction and real imports*. No components declined in August.

With the increase of 0.3 percent in August, the coincident index now stands at 159.0 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in July and increased 0.3 percent in June. During the six-month span through August, the index increased 1.7 percent, and all of the five components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100.0 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" 10 A.M. (ET) October 19, 2007. Some series are estimated as noted below.

NOTES: Series in the coincident index based on The Conference Board estimates include final household consumption and real imports. There are no series in the leading index based on The Conference Board estimates.

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

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