Sat, Jan 28, 2006 - Page 5 News List

Economy maintains steady growth, CEPD data shows


The nation's economy showed signs of slight growth last month, with the composite index of leading economic indicators -- a key predictor of economic activity in the next six months -- up 0.6 percent from a month earlier, the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) said yesterday.

In November, the index rose a revised 1.4 percent month-on-month, the council said.

Four of the index's seven components improved: the value of exports clearing customs, M1B money supply growth, the stock market, the wholesale price index and money supply growth.

The three other components -- new orders received by the manufacturing sector, land approval for construction, and average working hours in the manufacturing sector -- deteriorated, the council said.

In terms of the index of coincident indicators -- which coincides with the current pace of economic activity, the index for last month rose 1.0 percent month-on-month, compared with a revised 0.2 percent decline in November.

The total score of monitoring indicators for last month stood at 26 points, up from 24 points in the preceding month, signaling a "green light" for steady growth, the council said.

The green-light showing for last month is the fifth in a row since August. The CEPD uses a five-level spectrum to gauge domestic economic health, with blue indicating recession, yellow-blue a slowdown, green steady growth, yellow-red a slight overheating and red an absolute overheating.

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