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Released: Friday, January 9, 2004

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

  • With this month’s gain, the leading index continues on a gradual rising trend from its most recent low in March (a 3.1 percent annual rate), and the strength continues to be widespread. The coincident index also increased again in November, and has been rising moderately since the beginning of the year.
  • Consistent with the rising trend of the leading index since March, real GDP growth picked up to almost a 3.0 percent annual rate in the second and third quarters of 2003. The continued growth in the leading index is signaling that moderate economic growth is likely to continue in the near term.

Leading Indicators. Five of the eight components that make up the leading index increased in November. The positive contributors – from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – were consumer confidence, stock prices, productivity for the whole economy*, volume of expected output, and operating surplus of corporations*. Fixed interest price index and new orders for engineering industries* declined in November, while order book volume was unchanged.

With the 0.2 percent increase in November, the leading index now stands at 129.0 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in October and increased 0.3 percent in September. During the six-month span through November, the leading index increased 1.2 percent with six of the eight components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 62.5 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Three of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in November. Employment* was the largest positive contributor, followed by real household disposable income*, and retail sales. Industrial production declined in November. With the 0.1 percent increase in November, the coincident index now stands at 113.7 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in October and increased 0.2 percent again in September. During the six-month period through November, the coincident index increased 0.8 percent, with all four components advancing (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 January 8, 2004. 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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