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Released: Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Korea increased 0.6 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for Korea declined 0.1 percent in April.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Korea increased in April, with large positive contributions from the value of machinery orders and stock prices more than offsetting negative contributions from the (inverted) index of inventories to shipments and real exports FOB. The leading economic index increased by 2.2 percent (about a 4.5 percent annual rate) between October 2014 and April 2015, better than its increase of 1.6 percent (about a 3.2 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. The strengths among the leading indicators remain more widespread than the weaknesses.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Korea, a measure of current economic activity, declined slightly in April. Between October 2014 and April 2015, the coincident economic index grew by 1.1 percent (about a 2.3 percent annual rate), after increasing only 0.2 percent (about a 0.4 percent annual rate) over the previous six months. At the same time, real GDP expanded at a 3.3 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2015, up from 1.1 percent (annual rate) in the last quarter of 2014.
  • The LEI for Korea increased moderately in April, and its six-month growth rate has improved compared to six months ago. Meanwhile, the CEI for Korea decreased slightly, but its six-month change is also significantly higher than six months ago. Taken together, the behavior of both indexes suggests that the current pace of economic expansion is likely to continue in the near term.

LEADING INDICATORS. Four of the six components that make up The Conference Board LEI for Korea increased in April. The positive contributors – from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – were the value of machinery orders, stock prices, the (inverted) yield of government public bonds, and private construction orders. Negative contributors – from the largest negative contributor to the smallest – were the (inverted) index of inventories to shipments and real exports FOB.

With the 0.6 percent increase in April, The Conference Board LEI for Korea now stands at 111.0 (2010=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 2.0 percent in March and declined 0.6 percent in February. Over the six-month span through April, the leading economic index increased 2.2 percent, with four of the six components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 66.7 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Two of the four components that make up The Conference Board CEI for Korea increased in April. The positive contributors were the wholesale and retail sales component and monthly cash earnings*. Total employment and industrial production declined in April.

With the 0.1 percent decrease in April, The Conference Board CEI for Korea now stands at 107.8 (2010=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in March and increased 0.1 percent in February. During the six-month span through April, the coincident economic index increased 1.1 percent, with all four components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100.0 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 June 5, 2015.

* The series in the coincident economic index based on The Conference Board’s estimates is monthly cash earnings. There is no forecasted series in the leading economic index.

Professional Contacts at The Conference Board:

Indicator Program: indicators@conference-board.org

Media Contacts:

Carol Courter:
1 212 339 0232
carol.courter@conference-board.org

Jonathan Liu:
1 212 339 0257
Jonathan.liu@conference-board.org

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