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Global Business Cycle Indicators


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Benchmark Revisions - January 2008

Press Release Archive

Released: Monday, October 21, 2002

The Conference Board reports today that the leading index for Australia increased 0.8 percent, and the coincident index increased 0.4 percent in August.

  • The leading index rebounded in August, after two consecutive monthly declines. A significant increase in building approvals, coupled with an improvement in the financial sector, contributed to this month's acceleration in the leading index.
  • Despite the gain in August, the rate of growth in the leading index has slowed somewhat since the sharp gains experienced throughout 2002.
  • · The coincident index, a measure of current economic activity, rose in August, driven by an increase in employed persons and improved retail sales. Moreover, the six-month diffusion index for the coincident index has remained at a maximum level of 100 for the last three months, which shows that all components of this index have increased over the past six months.
  • Leading Indicators. Seven of the eight components of the leading index increased in August. The positive contributors to the index -in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest- are building approvals*, real money supply*, sales to inventory ratio*, inverted medium term bond yield*, exports of rural goods*, stock prices, and gross operating surplus*. The yield spread was the only component that declined in August.

    With the increase of 0.8 percent in August, the leading index now stands at 145.3 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.2 percent in July and decreased 0.3 percent in June. During the six-month span through August, the leading index increased 0.4 percent, and three of the eight components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 43.8 percent).

    Coincident Indicators. Four of the five components of the coincident index increased in August. The increases - in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest - occurred in number of employed persons, retail trade*, household disposable income*, and industrial production*. The inverted unemployment rate remained unchanged (For details, see data availability section and tables).

    With the increase of 0.4 percent in August, the coincident index now stands at 113.3 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in July and increased 0.1 percent in June. During the six-month period through August, the coincident index increased 0.9 percent, with all five series making positive contributions (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100 percent).

    Data Availability. The data series used by The Conference Board to compute the two composite indexes reported in the tables in this release are those available "as of" 10 A.M. ET on October 18, 2002. Some series are estimated as noted below.

    *Notes: Series in the leading index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are sales to inventory ratio and gross operating surplus for private non-financial corporations, the implicit price index used to deflate rural goods exports and building approvals, the CPI used to deflate money supply. (Money Supply M3 levels from April 2002 and on are derived from growth rates reported by RBA). Series in the coincident index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are the CPI used to deflate retail trade, industrial production and household disposable income.

    Due to Reserve Bank of Australia's discontinuation of the 3-month Treasury Bill (for details see 'For the Record" in June 2002 RBA bulletin). The Conference Board will use the Bank Accepted Bill 90 Days to calculate the yield spread from now on.