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Benchmark Revisions - July 2007

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Released: Thursday, June 10, 2004

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for the U.K. was unchanged in April, while the coincident index increased 0.2 percent.

  • The leading index was unchanged in April following a large increase in March. March’s increase was revised up, but this was offset by a downward revision to February, which now shows a small decline. The leading index is still increasing at a 5.0 to 6.0 percent annual rate in recent months, although there have been fluctuations from month to month. In addition, the strength has continued to be widespread.
  • The coincident index increased slightly again in April, keeping it on a steady upward trend. Correspondingly, real GDP growth has been fluctuating 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.Five of the eight components that make up the leading index increased in April. The positive contributors – from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – were order book volume, stock prices, productivity for the whole economy*, new orders for engineering industries*, and consumer confidence. Volume of expected output, the fixed interest price index, and operating surplus of corporations* declined in April.

Holding steady in April, the leading index now stands at 132.2 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.8 percent in March and decreased 0.2 percent in February. During the six-month span through April, the leading index increased 2.7 percent, with five of the eight components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 62.5 percent).

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

With the 0.2 percent increase in April, the coincident index now stands at 114.7 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in March and increased 0.1 percent in February. During the six-month period through April, the coincident index increased 1.1 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 June 9, 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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