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Benchmark Revisions - January 2008

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Released: Thursday, December 19, 2002

The Conference Board reports today that the leading index for Australia increased 0.5 percent, and the coincident index increased 0.2 percent in October.

  • The leading index remained on its upward trend in October. Continued strength in housing and exports offset the recent weakness in the financial components of the index.
  • With this month’s increase, the coincident index recovered its loss in September. This increase is partly due to improvements in employment. The strength in the coincident index has been widespread as shown by the six-month diffusion index, which measures the proportion of components rising, remaining at 100 percent for the fifth consecutive month.

Leading Indicators. Six the eight components in the leading index increased in October. The positive contributors to the index —in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest— are building approvals*, rural goods exports*, share prices, sales to inventories ratio*, inverted medium term bond yield, and gross operating surplus.* Two of the eight components of the leading index decreased in October. The negative contributors to the index —in order from the larger negative contributor to the smaller one—are yield spread and money supply*.

With the increase of 0.5 percent in October, the leading index now stands at 147.7 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in September and increased 0.5 percent in August. During the six-month span through October, the leading index increased 1.0 percent, and six of the eight components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Four of the five components of the coincident index increased in October. The increases - in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest - occurred in the inverted unemployment rate, the number of employed persons, household gross disposable income*, and industrial production*. Retail Trade* was the only component to decrease in October.

With an increase of 0.2 percent in October, the coincident index now stands at 113.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in September and increased 0.4 percent in August. During the six-month period through October, the coincident index increased 0.7 percent, with all five of the 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 December 18, 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 from April 2002 and on 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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