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Benchmark Revisions - July 2007

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Released: Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for the U.K. decreased 0.7 percent, while the coincident index increased 0.1 percent in May.

  • The leading index fell for the third consecutive month in May, and there were downward revisions to the previous several months as actual data for productivity and gross operating surplus for the first quarter of 2005 became available. The growth rate of the leading index has become slightly negative in recent months, and weaknesses among the leading indicators have become more widespread.
  • The coincident index increased slightly again in May, but it has been essentially flat for the last three to four months. Real GDP growth slowed to a 1.5 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2005 and has increased at a 1.8 percent average rate over the last three quarters, down from a 3.7 percent average rate in the second half of 2003 and first half of 2004. The mild weakness in the leading index in recent months is consistent with continued sluggish economic growth in the near term.
  • 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 the fixed interest price index, productivity for the whole economy*, and stock prices. Volume of expected output, order book volume, consumer confidence, and new orders for engineering industries* declined, while operating surplus of corporations* remained unchanged in May.

    With the 0.7 percent decline in May, the leading index now stands at 132.7 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.4 percent in April and declined 0.2 percent in March. During the six-month span through May, the leading index declined 0.6 percent, with four of the eight components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 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*, real household disposable income*, industrial production, and retail sales.

    With the increase of 0.1 percent in May, the coincident index now stands at 115.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in April and declined 0.2 percent in March. During the six-month period through May, the coincident index increased 0.4 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 July 12, 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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