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Benchmark Revisions - January 2008

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Released: Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Australia increased 0.5 percent, and the coincident index increased 0.3 percent in June.

  • The leading index increased in June for the third consecutive month, and the strength among leading indicators continued to be widespread. With this month’s gain, the leading index has been growing at about a 0.5 to 1.5 percent annual rate in recent months. The leading index has been fluctuating around a slightly rising trend over the past year, but this growth is well below the 5.0 to 6.0 percent rate reached in the first half of 2004.
  • The coincident index increased again in June, and it continues to grow on a steadily rising trend. At the same time, real GDP increased at a 2.8 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2005, up from 1.5 percent growth in 2004, but still well below 4.5 percent growth in 2003. The current behavior of the leading index suggests that the economy should continue expanding in the near term.

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

With the 0.5 percent increase in June, the leading index now stands at 155.7 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in May and increased 0.4 percent in April. During the six-month period through June, the leading index increased 0.6 percent, and five of the eight components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 68.6 percent).

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

With the 0.3 percent increase in June, the coincident index now stands at 118.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in May and was unchanged in April. During the six-month period through June, the coincident index increased 1.0 percent, with all five components in the series making positive contributions (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100.0 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 August 24, 2005. 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.

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

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