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Benchmark Revisions - July 2007

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Released: Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for the U.K increased 0.6 percent, and the coincident index increased 0.2 percent in April.

  • The leading index increased sharply in April, the fourth consecutive increase. With April's gain, the growth rate of the leading index has picked up to a range of 3.0 - 4.0 percent annual rate in recent months, up from the zero to -2.0 percent rate in the second half of 2005. However, this is still below the most recent high in the growth rate of the leading index of almost 7.0 percent annual rate reached in the first half of 2004. In addition, the strengths among the leading indicators have become more widespread in recent months.
  • The coincident index increased slightly again in April, and it has been on a slightly rising trend since mid-2005. The recent growth in the coincident index has been widespread among its components. At the same time, real GDP grew at a 2.2 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2006, slightly up from the 2.1 percent average rate in the second half of 2005 and a 1.7 percent average rate the first half of the year. The continued strength in the leading index in recent months suggests that moderate economic growth should continue in the near term.

LEADING INDICATORS. Five 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 order book volume, volume of expected output, stock prices, productivity for the whole economy*, and consumer confidence. The fixed interest price index declined in April.

With the 0.6 percent increase in April, the leading index now stands at 136.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.5 percent in March and increased 0.8 percent in February. During the six-month span through April, the leading index increased 2.0 percent, with six of the eight components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 62.5 percent).

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

With the increase of 0.2 percent in April, the coincident index now stands at 116.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in March and increased 0.2 percent in February. During the six-month period through April, the coincident index increased 0.8 percent, with all 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 June 14, 2006. Some series are estimated as noted below.

* 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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