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Benchmark Revisions - July 2007

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Released: Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for the U.K declined 0.1 percent, and the coincident index increased 0.1 percent in September.

  • The leading index declined slightly for the third straight month in September. Volume of expected output and the yield spread made the largest negative contributions to the index in September. The six-month growth rate of the leading index has slowed to 0.6 percent (a 1.2 percent annual rate), down from the 1.5 to 2.5 percent pace in the first half of 2007. However, the strengths among the leading indicators have remained more widespread than the weaknesses during the past six months.
  • The coincident index increased again in September, supported by positive contributions from employment, retail sales and real household disposable income. Industrial production has been the only source of weakness in this index in recent months. The six-month growth rate of the coincident index has held steady at 0.8 percent (a 1.5 percent annual rate) for the past three months, and the strengths among the coincident indicators continue to be very widespread.
  • The leading index has declined modestly in recent months, while the coincident index has continued to increase at a moderate pace. In addition, the strengths among the components of both composite indexes continue to be more widespread than the weaknesses. At the same time, real GDP grew at a 3.3 percent annual rate in the third quarter, matching the expansion rate that prevailed in the previous three quarters. The current behavior of the leading and coincident indexes suggests that economic growth will likely continue in the near term, albeit at a slow pace.

LEADING INDICATORS. Four of the seven components that make up the leading index increased in September. The positive contributors — from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — were productivity for the whole economy*, stock prices, operating surplus of corporations, and consumer confidence. The negative contributors — from the largest negative contributor to the smallest — were volume of expected output, yield spread, and order book volume. With the 0.1 percent decrease in September, the leading index now stands at 129.2 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.2 percent in August and declined 0.2 percent in July. During the six-month span through September, the leading index increased 0.6 percent, with five of the seven components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 71.4 percent).

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

With the increase of 0.1 percent in September, the coincident index now stands at 118.9 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in August and remained unchanged in July. During the six-month period through September, 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 November 6, 2007. Some series are estimated as noted below.

* Series in the leading index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are 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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