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Economy in Brief

OECD Leading Indicators:  A Mixed Bag
by Louise Curley  December 10, 2012

The OECD's Leading Indicator for three broad groups of countries are showing mixed trends, as shown in the attached chart. Those for the Euro Area are definitely indicating slowing economies. Except for Germany, most of the other countries in the area are showing declining leading indicators. Those for the Asia Major Five--China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Korea--have improved slightly from September to October, but are 0.73% below October of a year ago. Japan may be the culprit here. Its GDP has declined in the second and third quarters. The October leading indicators for NAFTA--United States, Canada and Mexico--are 0.5% above September and 0.72% above October 2011.

The leading indicators have proved effective in forecasting economic trends.  The current indicators are pointing to a recession in the Euro Area, but only a slow down in Asia, ex Japan and some further growth in the NAFTA  countries.. 

Weekly Price Oct '12 Sep '12 Oct '11 Y/Y % M/M % 2011 2010 2009
Euro Area 99.31 99.36 100.19 -0.05 -0.88 100.96 100.90 97.72
Asia Major 5 99.29 99.25 100.02 0.03 -0.73 100.42 101.21 99.53
NAFTA 100.73 100.68 100.01 0.05 0.72 100.33 100.12 96.55
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