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Benchmark Revisions - July 2007

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Released: Wednesday, May 12, 2004

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for the U.K. increased 0.5 percent and the coincident index increased 0.2 percent in March.

  • The leading index continued increasing in March, although February’s large increase was revised downward as actual data for new orders became available. Nevertheless, the leading index is still up at almost a 4.5 percent annual rate from its most recent low in March 2003, and has been increasing at a 6.0 to 7.0 percent rate in recent months. The strength over this period has also been widespread.
  • The coincident index increased slightly in March, keeping it on a steady upward trend. At the same time, real GDP growth continued to fluctuate around a 3.0 percent average annual rate (3.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2003 and 2.6 percent in the first quarter of 2004). The continued strength in the leading index suggests that this rate of economic growth is likely to persist in the near term.

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

With the 0.5 percent increase in March, the leading index now stands at 132.3 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in February and increased 1.2 percent in January. During the six-month span through March, the leading index increased 3.0 percent with six of the eight components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).

Coincident Indicators. All four components that make up the coincident index increased in March. The positive contributors – from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – were employment*, real household disposable income*, retail sales, and industrial production.

With the 0.2 percent increase in March, the coincident index now stands at 114.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in February and increased 0.3 percent in January. During the six-month period through March, the coincident index increased 1.0 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 May 10, 2004. Some series are estimated as noted below.

NOTES: 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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