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Benchmark Revisions - January 2008

Press Release Archive

Released: Wednesday, November 19, 2003

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Australia increased 0.5 percent, and the coincident index increased 0.1 percent in September.

  • The leading index increased by 0.5 percent in September. This is the second consecutive moderate increase, and the money supply contributed only 0.1 percent to the September gain in contrast to larger contributions in recent months. The coincident index also increased again in September, keeping it on a slightly rising trend.
  • Real GDP growth continued slowing through the second quarter of 2003, consistent with the decline in the leading index in late 2002 and early 2003. The leading index is signaling that economic growth should stop slowing, and perhaps even pick up slightly in the second half of the year.

Leading Indicators. Seven of the eight components in the leading index increased in September. The positive contributors to the index — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — are rural goods exports*, building approvals*, money supply*, yield spread, (inverted) “medium-term” government bond yield, the sales to inventories ratio*, and gross operating surplus*. Share prices decreased in September.

With the 0.5 percent increase in September, the leading index now stands at 148.9 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in August and decreased 0.4 percent in July. During the six-month span through September, the leading index increased 0.7 percent, and four of the eight components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Four of the five components in the coincident index increased in September. The increases - in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – occurred in employed persons, retail trade*, household gross disposable income*, and industrial production*. The (inverted) unemployment rate remained unchanged in September.

With the 0.1 percent increase in September, the coincident index now stands at 114.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.5 percent in August and decreased 0.2 percent in July. During the six-month period through September, the coincident index increased 0.7 percent, with four components in the series making positive contributions (diffusion index, six-month span equals 80.0 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” 5 P.M. ET on November 18, 2003. 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, and the CPI used to deflate money supply M3. Series in the coincident index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are industrial production and household disposable income. CPI was used to deflate retail trade.

Due to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s discontinuation of the 3-month Treasury Bill (for details see “For the Record” in the 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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