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Benchmark Revisions - July 2007

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Released: Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The Conference Board announced today that both the leading and coincident indexes for the U.K. increased 0.1 percent in August.

  • The leading index increased only slightly in August, but there were very large upward revisions to several previous months because of revisions to productivity and the corporate gross operating surplus. As a result, the growth rate of the leading index has slowed only slightly in recent months, into the 4.0-5.0 percent range (annual rate).
  • The coincident index also increased slightly in August, keeping it on a gradual but steady upward trend. Correspondingly, real GDP growth has continued fluctuating around a 3.5 percent average annual rate (3.8 percent in the second quarter of 2004). The recent behavior of the leading index suggests that the economy should continue expanding at about this rate in the near term.

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

With the 0.1 percent increase in August, the leading index now stands at 134.0 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index was unchanged in both July and June. During the six-month span through August, the leading index increased 2.3 percent, with four of the eight components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 56.3 percent).

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

With the 0.1 percent increase in August, the coincident index now stands at 114.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index remained steady in July and increased 0.1 percent in June. During the six-month period through August, the coincident index increased 0.5 percent, with three of the four components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 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 October 12, 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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