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Released: Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for China increased 1.1 percent in March to 144.5 (2004 = 100), following a 0.4 percent increase in February and a 0.8 percent increase in January. Four of the six components contributed positively to the index this month.

Said Bill Adams, Resident Economist for The Conference Board China Center in Beijing: "China’s growth performance remains strong. Like the LEIs for the U.S. and Euro Area, the LEI for China improved sharply in March relative to recent months. However, there is a strong positive impact from the rise in construction activity. Developers may have been front-loading projects in anticipation of controls on the real estate market that were subsequently implemented in late April. The recent behavior of the LEI for China suggests the economic expansion is unlikely to accelerate further through the summer months."

Meanwhile, The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for China, a measure of current economic activity, increased 0.4 percent in March to 179.8 (2004 = 100), following a 1.8 percent increase in February and a 1.6 percent increase in January. Three of the five components contributed positively to the index this month.

The China LEI, launched May 17, joins the global portfolio of directly comparable leading indicators produced by The Conference Board. Tested and refined over four years, the China LEI is a unique and reliable metric that shows the current status of the Chinese economy and its pattern of growth over the short term, and signals approaching turning points. The China CEI measures current economic conditions on a monthly basis, helping to pinpoint cycles’ beginnings and ends and illustrating current growth and the intensity of economic activity. .

The Conference Board LEI for China aggregates six economic indicators that measure economic activity in China. Each of the LEI components has proven accurate on its own. Aggregating individual indicators into a composite index filters out so-called "noise" to show underlying trends more clearly.

About The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for China
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® for China was launched in May 2010. Plotted back to 1986, this index has successfully signaled turning points in the economic cycles of China.

The Conference Board currently produces leading economic indexes for ten other individual countries, including the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, the Euro Area, Japan, Australia, Korea and Mexico.

The six components of The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® for China include:

Total Loans Issued by Financial Institutions (source: People’s Bank of China)
5000 Industry Enterprises Diffusion Index: Raw Materials Supply Index (source: People’s Bank of China)
NBS Manufacturing PMI Sub-Indices: PMI Supplier Deliveries (source: National Bureau of Statistics)
Consumer Expectations Index (source: National Bureau of Statistics)
Total Floor Space Started (source: National Bureau of Statistics)
NBS Manufacturing PMI Sub-Indices: Export Orders (source: National Bureau of Statistics)

To view The Conference Board calendar of 2010 indicator releases: http://www.conference-board.org/economics/indicators.cfm

*The series in The Conference Board LEI for China that is based on our estimates is the 5000 industry enterprises diffusion index: raw materials supply index. The series in The Conference Board CEI for China that is based on our estimates is manufacturing employment.

About The Conference Board
The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world’s leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. For additional information about The Conference Board and how it can meet your needs, visit our website at www.conference-board.org.

THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.

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