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Released: Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.K. increased 1.0 percent in March, after an increase of 1.0 percent in February and an increase of 0.7 percent in January. Five of the seven components made positive contributions to the index this month. The index stands at 103.6 (2004=100).

Said Jean-Claude Manini, The Conference Board Senior Economist for Europe: “The LEI for the United Kingdom increased sharply for a third consecutive month in March. Improving confidence in the manufacturing sector suggests that output may pick up modestly in the near term. After half a year, the six-month average for the U.K. moved back into positive territory, the last one to do so after the United States, the Euro Area, and Japan. This suggests that mature markets will generally return to slow expansion in the next few months. However, renewed concerns about the outlook for the Euro Area economy, particularly with regard to the health of its banking sector, could pose problems for the U.K. economy, considering its close trading relationship with the Euro Area and the size of its financial sector.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.K., a measure of current economic activity, increased 0.1 percent in March, after increasing by 0.1 percent in both February and January. Three of the four components made positive contributions to the index this month. The index stands at 102.6 (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 nine other countries, including Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain and the U.S.

To view The Conference Board calendar of 2012 indicator releases:
www.conference-board.org/data/

For more information: www.conference-board.org/data/bci.cfm

For full press release: www.conference-board.org/data/bcicountry.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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