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Benchmark Revisions - January 2008

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Released: Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Australia increased 0.4 percent, and the coincident index increased 0.1 percent in July.

  • The leading index increased again in July and there were significant upward revisions to the previous several months as actual data for the two national accounts components became available for the second quarter of 2005. The leading index is now growing at a 5.0 to 6.0 percent annual rate, well above the 1.0-2.0 percent range through the first quarter of 2005. In addition, the strength among leading indicators continues to be widespread.
  • The coincident index also increased again in July, and it continues to grow on a steadily rising trend. At the same time, real GDP growth picked up to a 5.2 percent annual rate, well above its 2.1 percent growth in the first quarter of 2005 and up from the 1.8 percent average growth in 2004. The strong growth in the leading index in recent months suggests that strong economic growth is likely to continue in the near term.

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

With the 0.4 percent increase in July, the leading index now stands at 159.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.7 percent in June and increased 0.8 percent in May. During the six-month period through July, the leading index increased 3.1 percent, and seven of the eight components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 85.7 percent).

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

With the 0.1 percent increase in July, the coincident index now stands at 118.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 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 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 September 26, 2005. Some series are estimated as noted below.

* See notes under data availability.

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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