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Benchmark Revisions - January 2008

Press Release Archive

Released: Thursday, February 22, 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 December.

  • The leading index increased again in December. The leading index grew 2.0 percent from June to December (a 4.2 percent annual rate). The six-month growth rate of the leading index has been about 3.5 to 4.5 percent (annual rate) through the end of 2006, down from 5.0 to 5.5 percent growth in mid-2006. Real money supply (M3) continued to make the largest positive contribution to the leading index. In addition, the strengths and weaknesses among the leading indicators have been somewhat balanced, with the number of components that are rising equal to or slightly more than the number of components that are falling in recent months.
  • The coincident index increased again in December, and it continues to rise on a trend of slow, but steady, growth. The strengths among the coincident indicators have been consistently very widespread. Employment was the largest positive contributor to the gain in December. The behavior of both the leading and coincident indexes suggests that moderate economic growth is likely to continue for the near term.

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

With the 0.2 percent increase in December, the leading index now stands at 166.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.5 percent in November and increased 0.4 percent in October. During the six-month period through December, the leading index increased 2.0 percent, and five of the eight components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 62.5 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Four of the five components in the coincident index increased in December. The increases — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — occurred in employed persons, the (inverted) unemployment rate, household gross disposable income* and industrial production*.

With the increase of 0.2 percent in December, the coincident index now stands at 120.7 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in November and increased 0.1 percent in October. During the six-month period through December, 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" 10 A.M. ET on February 22, 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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