April 13, 2009

Spain’s leading index drops

The leading index in Spain fell for the sixth consecutive month in February, the Conference Board, an economic research group, said Monday.

The index measuring future economic conditions has fallen at a 7.6 percent annual rate over the past six months, well below the 3.6 percent annual rate of decline of the six months prior to August 2008. The current leading index fell 0.7 percent in February to 106.2 and showed widespread weakness, the Conference Board said.

Although the Spanish contribution to the euro money supply came in positive in February, Spanish stock prices, government bond yields and job placements contributed negatively to the index, the report said.

The Conference Board said Spain's coincident index, measuring current business conditions, fell for the 10th consecutive month, dragged down by all five component indexes -- industrial production, employment, retail sales, home sales and imports.

The coincident index fell 0.9 percent to 103.2.

Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite economic indexes suggests that the contraction in economic activity should continue in the near term, the report said.