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Released: Friday, May 14, 2010

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.K. increased by 1.0 percent in March to 101.7 (2004 = 100), following gains of 0.7 percent in February and 0.8 percent in January. All seven components made positive contributions to the index.

Download a PDF of the technical notes for underlying detail, diffusion indexes, components, contributions and graphs.

Download a PDF of the press release with graph and summary table.

Said Jean-Claude Manini, The Conference Board Senior Economist for Europe: "The pace of increase of the LEI for the United Kingdom has been a bit stronger than in the LEI for the Euro Area during the last six months and the positive contributions among the leading indicators have been more widespread. Nonetheless, the persisting weakness of employment and the uncertainty surrounding the fiscal outlook suggest that the UK recovery is unlikely to be much stronger than on the continent."

The Conference Board LEI for the U.K. has been increasing for the last year through March after a long period of decline. At the same time, The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.K., a measure of current economic activity, increased 0.2 percent in both March and February after declining by 0.4 percent in January. The index now stands at 102.3 (2004 = 100).

The Conference Board LEI for the U.K. aggregates seven economic indicators that measure activity in the U.K., each of which has proven accurate on its own. Aggregating individual indicators into a composite index filters out so-called "noise" to show underlying trends more clearly.

The seven components of The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.K. include:

Order Book Volume (source: Confederation of British Industry)
Volume of Expected Output (source: Confederation of British Industry)
Consumer Confidence Indicator (source: European Commission)
FTSE All-Share Index (source: FTSE Group)
Yield Spread (source: Bank of England)
Productivity, Whole Economy (Office for National Statistics)
Total Gross Operating Surplus of Corporations (Office for National Statistics)

Plotted back to 1970, this index has successfully signaled turning points in the U.K. business cycles. The Conference Board currently produces leading economic indexes for the Euro Area and eight other countries, including the U.S., Germany, France, Spain, Japan, Australia, Korea and Mexico.

To view The Conference Board calendar of 2010 indicator releases:
http://www.conference-board.org/economics/indicators.cfm

For more information:
http://www.conference-board.org/economics/bci/

For full press release: http://www.conference-board.org/economics/bci/pressRelease_output.cfm?cid=2

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board is an independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world's leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org.

THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.

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