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Economy in Brief

OECD Leaders Again Flat
by Tom Moeller August 11, 2004

Since February, the Index of Leading Indicators for the Major Seven OECD Countries is virtually unchanged. Flat readings in both June and May pulled the six-month rate of growth to 3.6%, less than half the growth rate when the year began.

Leaders in Japan and in the United States have weakened notably. Since February the leaders in Japan fell 0.7% and in the US they are down 0.1%. Declines in construction and share prices accounts for much of the weakness in both countries.

The leading index for the European Union has remained relatively firm, up 0.9% since February due to 1.6% growth in the German leaders and 1.5% growth in the French leaders. Leaders in Italy, however, fell 0.8% during the last four months and the leaders in the UK fell in three of the last four months. The six month growth rate dropped to fell to 1.3% from the high of 5.1% in February.

In Canada the leading index continued higher through June. A 0.8% gain pulled the six-month growth rate rose to 6.6versus a low of -3.1% in early 2003.

Visit the OECD's website at this website.

OECD Main Economic Indicators June May 6-Mth Chg. 2003 2002 2001
OECD Major Seven - Leading Index
(Trend Restored)
102.6 102.6 3.6% 2.6% 2.3% -3.1%
  European Union 106.0 105.9 4.1% 2.3% 3.5% -2.4%
  Japan 97.5 97.3 0.4% 1.8% 0.3% -4.5%
  United States 103.1 103.2 4.8% 3.9% 2.1% -3.3%
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