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Released: Friday, January 13, 2006

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for the U.K was unchanged, and the coincident index increased 0.2 percent in November.

  • The leading index was unchanged in November following a sharp decline in October. The leading index is now essentially at the same level as July 2005. The six month growth rate of the leading index is – 0.7 percent annual rate, but it has recovered from the most recent low of almost – 2.0 percent in August, and the strengths and weakness among the leading indicators have remained evenly balanced in recent months.
  • The coincident index increased slightly in November, and it has been on a flat to slightly rising trend since mid 2004. 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.
  • Following a steep upward trend from early 2003 through mid 2004, the leading index has been fluctuating around a flat trend since May 2004. Despite a slight pick up in late 2004 and early 2005, the leading index is now 0.6 percent below its May 2004 level. The behavior of the leading index in recent months suggests that slower economic growth is likely to persist in the near term.

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

Holding steady in November, the leading index now stands at 132.9 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.4 percent in October and increased 0.2 percent in September. During the six-month span through November, the leading index declined 0.4 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 November. The positive contributors – from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – were employment*, industrial production, retail sales, and real household disposable income*.

With the 0.2 percent increase in November, the coincident index now stands at 116.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in October and was unchanged in September. During the six-month period through November, the coincident index increased 0.6 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 January 13, 2006. 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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