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Benchmark Revisions - January 2008

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Released: Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Australia increased 0.2 percent and the coincident index increased 0.2 percent in November.

  • The leading index increased again in November. Building approvals was the largest positive contributor to the gain in November, rising for the first time in four months. The leading index has been growing at about a 3.0 to 3.5 percent annual rate in recent months, down from the 4.0 to 4.5 percent rate through mid-2006. In addition, among the leading indicators, the number of components rising was roughly equal to the proportion of components falling in recent months.
  • The coincident index increased again in November, and it has been rising steadily since mid-2005. In recent months, the strengths among the coincident indicators have been widespread. At the same time, real GDP grew at a 1.2 percent annual rate in the third quarter of 2006, down from the 2.2 percent average annual rate in the first half of the year. The slightly slower but continued growth in the leading index still suggests that moderate economic growth should continue in the near term.

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

With the 0.2 percent increase in November, the leading index now stands at 164.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in October and increased 0.2 percent in September. During the six-month period through November, the leading index increased 1.5 percent, and four of the eight components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Three of the five components in the coincident index increased in November. The increases — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — occurred in employed persons, household gross disposable income* and industrial production*.

With the increase of 0.2 percent in November, the coincident index now stands at 120.3 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in October and increased 0.1 percent in September. During the six-month period through November, the coincident index increased 0.9 percent, with five of the 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" 10 A.M. ET on January 23, 2007. 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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