The latest composite leading indicators (CLIs) in October 2006 suggested that slowing economic expansion lay ahead in the OECD area, with August 2006 data showing weakening performance in the CLI’s six month rate of change in all the Major Seven economies except Canada. This outlook came in the October revised report from the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).
The OECD area is composed of these 29 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and United States.
The latest data for major OECD non-member economies point to a weakening outlook for China and steady expansion in India, Russia and Brazil.
• OECD area: The CLI for the OECD area decreased by 0.1 point in August to 109.6 (from 109.7 in July), and its 6-month rate of change was down for the fifth consecutive month.
• U.S.: The CLI for the U.S. was unchanged in August, while its 6-month rate of change was down for the sixth consecutive month.
• euro area: The Euro area’s CLI was also unchanged in August, and its 6-month rate of change has decreased for the last 3 months.
• Japan: In August, the CLI for Japan fell by 0.5 point and its 6-month rate of change has fallen since March 2006.
• United Kingdom: The CLI for the UK decreased in August by 0.1 point, and its 6-month rate of change decreased for the fourth time in a row.
• Canada: The CLI for Canada decreased by 0.2 point in August, but its 6-month rate of change shows an upward trend since May 2005.
• France: For France the CLI increased by 0.5 point in August, and its 6-month rate of change has been relatively stable since October 2005.
• Germany: The CLI for Germany decreased by 0.1 point in August and its 6-month rate of change was down for the fourth time in a row.
• Italy: For Italy the CLI fell by 0.7 point in August and its 6-month rate of change has decreased for the last 3 months.
• China: The CLI for China decreased by 0.3 point in August, and its 6-month rate of change shows a downward trend since April 2006.
• India: The CLI for India increased by 1.0 point in July, but its 6-month rate of change shows a slight downward trend since May 2006.
• Russia: The CLI for Russia rose by 0.9 point in August and its 6-month rate of change has been relatively stable since June 2005.
• Brazil: In August, the CLI for Brazil rose by a strong 2.8 points and its 6-month rate of change was up for the third time in a row.
The OECD's methodology uses the 6-month rate of change of the CLI as a pointer to possible turning points. This rate is calculated on the trend restored CLI and thus includes long-term growth rate in addition to purely cyclical movements. The 6-month rate of change of the CLI is calculated by using the ratio between the figure for a given month m and the average of the figures from m-12 to m-1. Thus, the 6-month rate of change is less volatile and provides earlier and clearer signals for future turning points than the CLI itself.
2006 Inflation in OECD Lower than 2005
Consumer prices rose by 2.1 percent in the year 2006 by the end of September in the OECD area, compared with 3.0 percent in the year to August 2006, according to the latest figures from OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). On a monthly basis, the price level decreased by 0.1 percent between August and September 2006 after a rise by 0.2 percent between July and August 2006.
The drop in inflation rates mainly reflects a lower year-on-year increase of energy prices (0.3 percent in September after a rise by 11.6 percent in August). There was even a 0.1 percent fall in energy prices for the G7 countries in the year to September as against a rise of 12.4 percent in August.
Consumer Prices for food increased by 3.0 percent year-on-year in September compared with 2.7 percent in August. Excluding food and energy, consumer prices rose by 2.2 percent year-on-year in September unchanged from the year to August.
In the euro area, the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) was up by 1.8 percent in the year to September, compared to 2.3 percent in the year to August, while month-on-month the HICP remained unchanged in September compared with August after an increase of 0.1 percent between July and August. Excluding food and energy, the year-on-year rise in the HICP was at 1.5 percent in September compared with 1.4 percent in August.
In the United States, the CPI increased by 2.1 percent over the twelve months to September, after a year-on-year rise by 3.8 percent in August.
In Japan, consumer prices increased by 0.6 percent in September over a year earlier, compared with a year-on-year rise by 0.9 percent in August.
Over the twelve months to August, the national CPI rose by 3.6 percent in the United Kingdom, 2.1 percent in Italy, 1.2 percent in France, 1.0 percent in Germany, and 0.7 percent in Canada.
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