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Benchmark Revisions - January 2008

Press Release Archive

Released: Wednesday, August 21, 2002

The Conference Board reports today that the leading index for Australia decreased 0.5 percent, and the coincident index decreased 0.1 percent in June.

  • The weakness that began recently in the financial sector continues this month, and is largely responsible for the decline in the leading index. Partially offsetting this weakness is the growth in the housing sector and in domestic demand.
  • The six-month growth rate of the leading index has slowed since the beginning of this year. Weakness in the leading index should be closely monitored in the coming months.
  • Although the coincident index decreased moderately in June, mainly due to a rise in the unemployment rate, the strength in the coincident index continues to be widespread as its diffusion index has been well over 50 percent for the last six months.

Leading Indicators.

Four of the eight components of the leading index increased in June. The positive contributors to the index -in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest- are inverted medium term bond yield, building approvals*, sales to inventory ratio*, and gross operating surplus*. Four components decreased. The negative contributors to the index -in order from the largest negative contributor to the smallest-are real money supply*, stock prices, exports of rural goods*, and yield spread*. (For details see data availability section and tables).

With the decrease of 0.5 percent in June, the leading index now stands at 145.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index held steady in May and increased 0.9 percent in April. During the six-month span through June, the leading index increased 1.3 percent, and five of the eight components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 68.8 percent).

Coincident Indicators.

Three of the five components of the coincident index increased in June. The increases - in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest - occurred in employed persons, household disposable income*, and industrial production*. The inverted unemployment rate and retail trade* decreased in June. (For details see data availability section and tables).

With the decrease of 0.1 percent in June, the coincident index now stands at 112.7 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in May and decreased 0.1 percent in April. During the six-month period through June, the coincident index increased 0.7 percent, with four of five series making positive contributions (diffusion index, six-month span equals 80 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 August 20, 2002. Some series are estimated as noted below.

*Notes: Series in the leading index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are treasury bill rate 3 months, sales to inventory ratio and gross operating surplus for private non-financial corporations, the implicit price index used to deflate rural goods exports and building approvals, the CPI used to deflate money supply. (Money Supply M3 levels for April and May 2002 are derived from growth rates reported by RBA). Series in the coincident index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are the CPI used to deflate retail trade, industrial production and 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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