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Benchmark Revisions - July 2007

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Released: Monday, May 16, 2005

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for the U.K. increased 0.1 percent and the coincident index was unchanged in March.

  • The leading index increased slightly in March, the fourth consecutive increase, and the strength among the leading indicators has continued to be relatively widespread. With this month’s increase, the leading index has continued increasing at a 2.0 to 3.0 percent annual rate in recent months, up from essentially no growth in the second half of 2004, but still below the very rapid growth in early 2004.
  • The coincident index was unchanged in March, but is still on a steadily rising trend. Similarly, real GDP increased at a 2.2 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2005, only slightly below the average rate of 2.6 percent over the previous two quarters. The behavior of the leading index in recent months suggests that this moderate rate of economic growth is likely to continue in the near term.

Leading Indicators.Four 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 volume of expected output, consumer confidence, productivity for the whole economy*, and operating surplus of corporations*. Order book volume, the fixed interest price index, stock prices, and new orders for engineering industries* declined in March.

With the 0.1 percent increase in March, the leading index now stands at 135.2 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.6 percent in February and increased 0.3 percent in January. During the six-month span through March, the leading index increased 1.3 percent, with six of the eight components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 87.5 percent).

Coincident Indicators.Two of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in March. The positive contributors – from the larger positive contributor to the smaller – were employment* and real household disposable income*. Industrial production and retail sales declined in March.

Holding steady in March, the coincident index now stands at 115.5 (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 0.5 percent, with two of the four components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 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 May 13, 2005. 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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