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Released: Thursday, November 13, 2003

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for the U.K. increased 0.1 percent, and the coincident index increased 0.2 percent in September.

  • The leading index increased again in September, and except for July's decline, the leading index has continued increasing moderately from its most recent low in March (a 2.8 percent annual rate). The coincident index also increased again in September, and it has been rising moderately since the beginning of the year.
  • The gradual upward trend of the leading index since March is consistent with a continuation of moderate economic growth in the near term. With currently available information, the leading index has not been increasing rapidly enough to signal a significant strengthening of economic growth.

Leading Indicators. Four of the nine components that make up the leading index increased in September. The positive contributors – from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – were consumer confidence, stock prices, volume of expected output, and productivity for the whole economy*. Three components in the leading index decreased in September. The negative contributors – from the largest negative contributor to the smallest – included order book volume, fixed interest price index, and new orders for engineering industries*. Housing starts1 and operating surplus of corporations* were unchanged in September.

With the 0.1 percent increase in September, the leading index now stands at 124.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in August and decreased 0.3 percent in July. During the six-month span through September, the leading index increased 1.4 percent with six of the nine components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 61.1 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Three of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in September. Employment* was the largest positive contributor, followed by real household disposable income*, and retail sales. Industrial production remained unchanged in September.

With the 0.2 percent increase in September, the coincident index now stands at 114.9 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in August and remained unchanged in July. During the six-month period through September, the coincident index increased 0.8 percent, with three of the four components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75 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 November 12, 2003. Some series are estimated as noted below.

Series in the leading index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are new orders in engineering industries, productivity of the whole economy, and operating surplus of corporations. Series in the coincident index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are employment and real household disposable income.

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

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