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Benchmark Revisions - July 2007

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Released: Thursday, July 8, 2004

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for the U.K. increased 0.3 percent and the coincident index increased 0.2 percent in May.

  • The leading index increased in May, but this increase was offset by a decline in April, which was revised down as actual information became available. As a result, the growth rate of the leading index has slowed so far this year, but is still in the 3.0 percent to 5.0 percent range (annual rate). The leading index has been volatile from month to month, but its growth has stayed relatively widespread.
  • The coincident index increased slightly again in May, keeping it on a steady upward trend. Real GDP has been fluctuating around a 3.5 percent average annual rate over the last year, including 3.1 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, with some risk of slightly slower growth.

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

With the 0.3 percent increase in May, the leading index now stands at 132.1 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.4 percent in April and increased 0.8 percent in March. During the six-month span through May, the leading index increased 2.2 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 May. The positive contributors – from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – were employment*, retail sales, real household disposable income*, and industrial production.

With the 0.2 percent increase in May, the coincident index now stands at 114.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in April and remained unchanged in March. During the six-month period through May, the coincident index increased 0.9 percent, with all four components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100.0 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 July 7, 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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