The Conference Board Leading Economic Index ® (LEI) for Japan increased 1.3 percent in January to 96.2 (2004 = 100), following a 0.2 percent increase in December, and a 0.2 percent decline in November.

At the same time, The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index ® (CEI) for Japan, a measure of current economic activity, declined 0.9 percent in January to 97.5 (2004 = 100), following a 0.5 percent increase in December, and no change in November.

The Conference Board LEI for Japan increased in both December and January, after generally declining since the second quarter of 2010. Its six-month growth rate has also turned positive for the first time since August last year. Meanwhile, The Conference Board CEI for Japan declined in January, and its six-month growth rate remains negative. Taken together, the behavior of the composite indexes suggests that economic activity will likely remain weak in the coming months.

About The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Japan

The composite economic indexes are the key elements in an analytic system designed to signal peaks and troughs in the business cycle. The leading and coincident economic indexes are essentially composite averages of several individual leading or coincident indicators. They are constructed to summarize and reveal common turning point patterns in economic data in a clearer and more convincing manner than any individual component – primarily because they smooth out some of the volatility of individual components.

The ten components of The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® for Japan include:

Operating Profits
Dwelling Units Started
Business Failures
Index of Overtime Worked
Stock Prices (TOPIX)
Six-Month Growth Rate of Labor Productivity
Tankan Business Conditions Survey
Money Supply
Yield Spread
New Orders for Machinery and Construction

For more information including full press release and technical notes:

http://www.conference-board.org/data/bcicountry.cfm?cid=5

For more information about The Conference Board global business cycle indicators: http://www.conference-board.org/data/bci.cfm

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board is an independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world’s leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.  www.conference-board.org.

Summary Table of Composite Economic Indexes
2010 2011 6-month
Nov Dec Jan Jul to Jan
Leading Economic index (LEI) 94.8 r 95.0 p 96.2 p
Percent Change -0.2 r 0.2 p 1.3 p 0.2p
Diffusion 60.0 50.0 80.0 90.0
Coincident Economic Index (CEI) 97.9 r 98.4p 97.5p
Percent Change 0.0 r 0.5 p -0.9p -1.3p
Diffusion 50.0 75.0 50.0 50.0
n.a. Not available    p Preliminary    r Revised

Indexes equal 100 in 2004

Source: The Conference Board      All Rights Reserved

CONTACT: Carol Courter, +1-732-672-2817, courter@conference-board.org

Web Site: http://www.conference-board.org

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