Global Business Cycle Indicators
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Released: Wednesday, May 27, 2015
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Germany increased 0.5 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index®(CEI) decreased 0.2 percent in March.
- The Conference Board LEI for Germany increased again in March. Large positive contributions from stock prices and consumer confidence more than offset the negative contribution from new orders for investment goods. Between September 2014 and March 2015, the leading economic index increased 2.6 percent (about a 5.2 percent annual rate), a reversal from its decrease of 1.9 percent (about a −3.9 percent annual rate) over the prior six months. Moreover, the strengths among the leading indicators have become more widespread than the weaknesses in recent months.
- The Conference Board CEI for Germany, a measure of current economic activity, declined. In the six-month period ending in March 2015, the coincident economic index increased 0.7 percent (about a 1.3 percent annual rate), after no improvement over the previous six months. In addition, the strengths among the coincident indicators have been very widespread with all components advancing. Meanwhile, real GDP expanded by 1.1 percent (annual rate) in the first quarter this year, slower than its growth of 2.8 percent (annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2014.
- In March, the LEI for Germany increased for the fifth consecutive month, and the strengths among the components have become more widespread. As a result, its six-month growth rate has improved. Meanwhile, despite a small decline in March, the CEI has been modestly advancing and the strengths among its components remain widespread. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that the economy should continue to expand in the near-term, and the pace of growth could possibly even improve.
LEADING INDICATORS. Six of the seven components in The Conference Board LEI for Germany increased in March. The positive contributors — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest— were stock prices, consumer confidence, new residential construction orders*, inventory change*, gross enterprises and properties income*, and the yield spread. The only negative contributor was new orders in investment goods industries.
With the 0.5 percent increase in March, The Conference Board LEI for Germany now stands at 108.5 (2010=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.7 percent in February and increased 0.4 percent in January. During the six-month span through March, the index increased 2.6 percent, with five of the seven components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 71.4 percent).
COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Two of the four components that make up The Conference Board CEI for Germany increased in March. The positive contributors were manufacturing sales and employed persons. Retail trade and industrial production declined in March.
With the 0.2 percent decrease in March, The Conference Board CEI for Germany now stands at 105.1 (2010=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in February and remained unchanged in January. During the six-month period through March, the index increased 0.7 percent, with all four components increasing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100.0 percent).
DATA AVAILABILITY The data series used to compute The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Germany and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for Germany reported in this release are those available “as of” 10:00 A.M. ET May 21, 2015. Some series are estimated as noted below.
NOTES: Series in The Conference Board LEI for Germany that are based on our estimates are inventory change, new residential construction orders, and gross enterprises and properties income.
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