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Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Releases



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Benchmark Revisions - January 2008

Press Release Archive

Released: Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Australia decreased 0.3 percent, while the coincident index remained unchanged in October.

  • The leading index declined in October, and there were downward revisions to the previous several months as actual data for the national account components for the third quarter of 2005 became available. With October’s decline, the growth of the leading index has slowed to around a 2.0 percent annual rate, down from the 4.0-5.0 percent rate through August of 2005. In addition, the strength among the leading indicators has become less widespread in recent months.
  • The coincident index was unchanged in October, and it has been essentially flat since June. At the same time, real GDP slowed to a 0.6 percent annual rate in the third quarter of 2005, down from the 4.1 percent average rate in the first half of the year (including a 5.2 percent rate in the second quarter). The slower growth in the leading index in recent months suggests that the economy is likely to grow moderately in the near term.

Leading Indicators. Six of the eight components in the leading index decreased in October. The negative contributors to the index — in order from the largest negative contributor to the smallest — are building approvals*, share prices, money supply*, the (inverted) “medium-term” government bond yield, the sales to inventories ratio*, and rural goods exports*. Gross operating surplus* and yield spread increased in October.

With the 0.3 percent decrease in October, the leading index now stands at 158.3 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in September and declined 0.1 percent in August. During the six-month period through October, the leading index increased 1.0 percent, and four of the eight components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 56.3 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Three of the five components in the coincident index increased in October. The increases - in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – occurred in household gross disposable income*, retail trade, and industrial production*. Employed persons and the (inverted) unemployment rate declined in October.

Holding steady in October, the coincident index now stands at 118.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.2 percent in September and increased 0.2 percent in August. During the six-month period through October, the coincident index increased 0.6 percent, with four of the five components in the series making positive contributions (diffusion index, six-month span equals 80.0 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” 5 P.M. ET on December 20, 2005. 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, and the CPI used to deflate money supply M3. Series in the coincident index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are industrial production and household disposable income. CPI was used to deflate retail trade.