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Benchmark Revisions - January 2008

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Released: Monday, January 24, 2011

This month's release incorporates annual benchmark revisions to the composite economic indexes, which bring them up-to-date with revisions in the source data. These revisions do not change the cyclical properties of the indexes. The indexes are updated throughout the year, but only for the previous six months. Data revisions that fall outside of the moving six-month window are not incorporated until the benchmark revision is made and the entire histories of the indexes are recomputed. As a result, the revised indexes, in levels and month-on-month changes, will not be directly comparable to those issued prior to the benchmark revision.

For more information, please visit our website at:
http://www.conference-board.org/data/bci.cfm or contact us at:
indicators@conference-board.org.

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Australia increased 0.3 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) increased 0.2 percent in November.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Australia increased again in November, and the strengths and weaknesses among the leading components were balanced. Money supply (M3) and the sales-to-inventories ratio both made large contributions to the index this month, more than offsetting negative contributions from rural goods exports and stock prices. Despite the gain in November, the six-month growth rate of the leading economic index continued to slow, to 1.6 percent (a 3.2 percent annual rate) in the period through November 2010, down from 4.6 percent (a 9.4 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. The strengths and weaknesses among the leading indicators have been roughly balanced over the past six months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Australia, a measure of current economic activity, also increased again in November. With this month’s gain, the coincident economic index grew by 1.5 percent (a 3.1 percent annual rate) in the six-month period through November 2010, slightly up from the growth of 1.2 percent (a 2.4 percent annual rate) in the previous six months. At the same time, real GDP grew at a 0.8 percent annual rate in the third quarter of 2010, slower than the 4.6 percent (annual rate) increase in the second quarter and the 2.7 percent increase (annual rate) in the first quarter of the year.
  • The Conference Board LEI for Australia resumed its upward trend, after pausing in the third quarter of last year. However, its six-month growth rate has continued to moderate in recent months. At the same time, The Conference Board CEI for Australia continues to increase at a steady pace.  Taken together, the current behavior of the composite indexes suggests that economic growth will likely be moderate in the near term.

LEADING INDICATORS.  Four of the seven components in The Conference Board LEI for Australia increased in November.  The positive contributors to the index — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — are the sales-to-inventories ratio*, money supply*, yield spread, and gross operating surplus*.  Rural goods exports and share prices declined, while building approvals remained unchanged in November. 

With the 0.3 percent increase in November, The Conference Board LEI for Australia now stands at 120.2 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.6 percent in October and declined 0.1 percent in September. During the six-month period through November, the leading economic index increased 1.6 percent, and four of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 57.1 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Two of the four components in The Conference Board CEI for Australia increased in November.  The increases occurred in employed persons and household gross disposable income*.  Retail trade declined, while industrial production* was unchanged in November.

With the increase of 0.2 percent in November, The Conference Board CEI for Australia now stands at 118.4 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in October and increased 0.3 percent in September.  During the six-month period through November, the coincident economic index increased 1.5 percent, with three of the four components in the series making positive contributions (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).

DATA AVAILABILITY. The data series used to compute The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Australia and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for Australia reported in this release are those available “as of” 10 A.M. ET on January 20, 2011.  Some series are estimated as noted below.

NOTES: Series in The Conference Board LEI for Australia that are based on our 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 Conference Board CEI for Australia that are based on our estimates are industrial production and household disposable income.  CPI was used to deflate retail trade.

Effective with the February 26, 2009 release, the seasonally adjusted retail trade data replaced the trend estimated series, the publication of which was suspended by the Australia Bureau of Statistics.

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

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