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Benchmark Revisions - July 2007

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Released: Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for the U.K. decreased 0.4 percent, while the coincident index increased 0.2 percent in April.

  • The leading index fell in April, and the previously reported small increase in March was revised down to a slight decline as actual data for engineering industry new orders became available. In addition, the strength in the leading index has become somewhat less widespread in recent months. The leading index is still on a rising trend despite small declines in the last two recent months. The current growth rate of the leading index is about 2.0 percent (annual rate), which is an improvement from essentially no growth in the second half of 2004, but it is still below the very rapid growth in early 2004.
  • The coincident index increased slightly in April following no change in March and a small decline in February, keeping it on a flat to slightly rising trend. Real GDP growth slowed to a 1.9 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2005, down from an 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.Three 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 productivity for the whole economy*, consumer confidence, and the fixed interest price index. Order book volume, volume of expected output, stock prices, and new orders for engineering industries* declined, while operating surplus of corporations* remained unchanged in April.

With the 0.4 percent decline in April, the leading index now stands at 134.3 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.1 percent in March and increased 0.6 percent in February. During the six-month span through April, the leading index increased 0.4 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*, industrial production, retail sales, and real household disposable income*.

*See notes under data availability

With the increase of 0.2 percent in April, the coincident index now stands at 115.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index was unchanged in March and decreased 0.1 percent in February. During the six-month period through April, the coincident index increased 0.4 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 June 14, 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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