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Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Mexico decreased 0.2 percent, and the coincident index increased 0.1 percent in December.

  • The leading index declined slightly in December and the no change originally reported for November was revised down to a small decline. Despite these two declines, the growth rate of the leading index is still fluctuating around a 5.0 percent annual rate in recent months. A 5.0 percent growth rate is a slight improvement from the second quarter of 2004, but is still well below the peak growth rate of late 2003 and early 2004. December’s decline was mainly due to a large negative contribution from oil prices, and the strength in the leading index has continued to be widespread.
  • The coincident index increased slightly in December, and has been on a gradually rising trend since the beginning of 2004. At the same time, real GDP growth slowed to a 2.7 percent annual rate in the third quarter of 2004, down from a 4.0 percent average rate over the previous four quarters. It is too early to conclude that the rising trend of the leading index underway since late 2003 has ended because of these two consecutive declines, and the recent behavior of the leading index still suggests that the economy should continue to grow in the near term, at about its trend rate.

Leading Indicators.Three of the six components that make up the leading index decreased in December. The negative contributors to the index—from the largest negative contributor to the smallest one—are US refiners acquisition cost of domestic and imported crude oil, the industrial production construction component*, and the (inverted) federal funds rate. Stock prices, the (inverted) real exchange rate, and net insufficient inventories increased in December.

With the decline of 0.2 percent in December, the leading index now stands at 146.7 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.3 percent in November and increased 1.2 percent in October. During the six-month span through December, the index increased 2.0 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 increased in December. The positive contributors were the (inverted) unemployment rate and retail sales*. Number of people employed (measured by IMSS beneficiaries) and industrial production declined in December.

With the 0.1 percent increase in December, the coincident index now stands at 116.1 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in both November and October. During the six-month span through December, the index increased 0.8 percent, with three of the four 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” 10 A.M. February 17, 2005. 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.