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Economy in Brief

OECD Leaders' Gain Slowed
by Tom Moeller April 12, 2004

Gains in the Index of Leading Indicators for the Major Seven OECD Countries continue to signal positive economic growth, but the 0.1% uptick in February and the upwardly revised 0.4% January increase are slower than the 0.7-0.9% gains of the prior eight months.

Six-month growth in the leading index dipped to 7.1% versus the high of 8.1% in December.

The leading index for the European Union rose 0.2% in February and 0.3% in January. These gains followed increases which ranged from 0.4-0.9% from May through December.

Leaders in Germany were unchanged in February, the six-month growth rate down to 7.74%. The leaders in Italy managed the first gain in four months but the six month growth rate dropped to 1.5%, the lowest since last June. In France the leading index rose 0.4% and the six-month growth rate remained firm at 8.3%, the highest since 1999.

Leaders in Japan were unchanged in February and the six-month growth rate dropped slightly to 2.5%. Leaders in the UK rose 0.3%, only modestly below recent monthly gains so the six month growth rate remained quite firm at 4.7%.

In Canada the leading index added 0.4% to the 0.5% January increase, revised down sharply. The six-month growth rose to 7.0%. Leading indicators in the United States ticked up just 0.1% but the six-month growth rate at 10.3% remained firm.

Visit the OECD's website at this website.

OECD Main Economic Indicators Feb Jan Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
OECD Major Seven - Leading Index (Trend Restored) 120.9 120.6 6.6% 1.5% 2.2% -3.1%
  European Union 121.0 120.7 5.5% 1.9% 3.1% -1.9%
  Japan 102.0 102.0 2.2% 1.1% -0.5% -4.5%
  United States 133.3 133.1 10.0% 1.8% 2.6% -3.5%
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