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Released: Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for the U.K decreased 0.3 percent, and the coincident index was unchanged in October.

  • The leading index fell in October after increasing for three consecutive months. With this month’s decline, the growth rate of the leading index has been fluctuating around zero, a slight improvement from the declines in the April--June period, but the leading index has slowed down from its 1.0 to 2.0 percent annual growth rate reached in the first quarter of 2005.
  • The coincident index was unchanged in October, and it has been on a flat to slightly rising trend since mid 2004. In addition, much of the recent weakness in the coincident index is due to the decreasing industrial production since May. At the same time, real GDP grew at an average 1.5 percent annual rate in the first three quarters of 2005, down from a 2.5 percent average rate in 2004. The behavior of the leading index in recent months suggests that slower economic growth is likely to continue in the near term.
  • Leading Indicators.Five of the eight components that make up the leading index decreased in October. The negative contributors – from the largest negative contributor to the smallest – were order book volume, consumer confidence, volume of expected output, stock prices, and new orders for engineering industries*. Productivity for the whole economy* and the fixed interest price index increased, while operating surplus of corporations* was unchanged in October.

    With the 0.3 percent decrease in October, the leading index now stands at 133.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in September and increased 0.3 percent in August. During the six-month span through October, the leading index declined 0.3 percent, with four of the eight components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 percent).

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

    Holding steady in October, the coincident index now stands at 116.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in September and increased 0.1 percent in August. During the six-month period through October, the coincident index increased 0.7 percent, with three of the 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 December 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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