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Benchmark Revisions - January 2008

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Released: Friday, September 20, 2002

The Conference Board reports today that the leading index for Australia increased 0.1 percent, and the coincident index also increased 0.1 percent in July.

  • After two consecutive monthly declines, the leading index increased slightly in July. Despite a moderate gain this month, the six-month growth rate in the leading index has slowed significantly compared to the beginning of this year. Continued weakness in the financial and housing sectors could drive the leading index down in the coming months.
  • Driven by a drop in the unemployment rate, the coincident index continued to grow at a moderate pace in July. With this month's increase, the coincident index has been flat or increasing for the past seventeen consecutive months.

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

With the increase of 0.1 percent in July, the leading index now stands at 145.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.3 percent in June and decreased 0.1 percent in May. During the six-month span through July, the leading index increased 1.1 percent, and four of the eight components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 56.3 percent).

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

With the increase of 0.1 percent in July, the coincident index now stands at 113.0 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in June and increased 0.2 percent in May. During the six-month period through July, the coincident index increased 0.8 percent, with all five series making positive contributions (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100 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 September 20, 2002. Some series are estimated as noted below.

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

Due to Reserve Bank of Australia's discontinuation of the 3-month Treasury Bill (for details see 'For the Record" in June 2002 RBA bulletin). The Conference Board will use the Bank Accepted Bill 90 Days to calculate the yield spread from now on.

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

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