Global Business Cycle Indicators
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Released: Thursday, March 13, 2014
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index®(LEI) for Korea declined 1.0 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index®(CEI) for Korea increased 0.8 percent in January.
- The Conference Board LEI for Korea decreased for a second consecutive month in January, with the (inverted) index of inventories to shipments in manufacturing making the largest negative contribution. Despite this month’s weakness, the leading economic index’s six-month growth rate ending in January 2014 was 1.3 percent (about a 2.7 percent annual rate), a reversal from the contraction of 1.3 percent (about a -2.6 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. Additionally, the strengths among the leading indicators have become less widespread in recent months.
- The Conference Board CEI for Korea, a measure of current economic activity, improved in January, with all components contributing positively to the index. Between July 2013 and January 2014, the coincident economic index grew by 1.6 percent (about a 3.3 percent annual rate), rebounding from the decline of 0.2 percent (about a -0.3 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. At the same time, real GDP grew at a 3.7 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2013, down from 4.3 percent growth (annual rate) in the third quarter.
- The LEI for Korea has declined in the last two months, after improving for four consecutive months, but its six-month change remains in positive territory. Meanwhile, The CEI for Korea has been generally improving, and its six-month growth rate has accelerated. Taken together, the composite indexes and their components continue to suggest that the current rate of economic expansion is likely to continue in the near term.
LEADING INDICATORS. Two of the seven components that make up The Conference Board LEI for Korea increased in January. The positive contributors – from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – were letter of credit arrivals and the (inverted) yield of government public bonds. Negative contributors – from the largest negative contributor to the smallest – were the (inverted) index of inventories to shipments, private construction orders, value of machinery orders, stock prices, and real exports FOB.
With the 1.0 percent decrease in January, The Conference Board LEI for Korea now stands at 121.2 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.4 percent in December and increased 0.2 percent in November. Over the six-month span through January, the leading economic index increased 1.3 percent, with four of the seven components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 57.1 percent).
COINCIDENT INDICATORS. All four components that make up The Conference Board CEI for Korea increased in January. The positive contributors – in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – were total employment, the wholesale and retail sales component, industrial production, and monthly cash earnings*.
With the 0.8 percent increase in January, The Conference Board CEI for Korea now stands at 118.2 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in December and increased 0.3 percent in November. During the six-month span through January, the coincident economic index increased 1.6 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” 3 P.M. (ET) on March 12, 2014.
* 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.
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