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Benchmark Revisions - January 2008

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Released: Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Australia increased 0.1 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) also increased 0.1 percent in January.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Australia increased slightly in January, the fourth consecutive monthly increase. All of the leading indicators, except for building approvals, advanced this month. Despite the small gain in January, the six-month growth rate of the Leading Economic Index moderated to 1.7 percent (a 3.4 percent annual rate) in the period through January 2011, down from 3.6 percent (a 7.3 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. In addition, the strengths and weaknesses among the leading indicators have only been roughly balanced over the past six months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Australia, a measure of current economic activity, also increased slightly in January, following a small decline in December. Retail trade increased for the first time in four months, while industrial production declined in January. Index levels were revised modestly lower in recent months, as fourth quarter data for household disposable income became available. With the small gain this month, the Coincident Economic Index grew by 0.5 percent (a 1.0 percent annual rate) in the six-month period through January 2011, down from 1.0 percent (a 2.1 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. At the same time, real GDP grew at a 3.0 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2010, up from the 0.5 percent increase (annual rate) in the third quarter.
  • The Conference Board LEI for Australia continued its upward trend through the beginning of this year, after a brief pause in the third quarter of 2010. However, its six-month growth rate has continued to moderate. At the same time, The Conference Board CEI for Australia has been essentially flat since last September, and its six-month growth rate has slowed in recent months.  Taken together, the current behavior of the composite indexes suggests that economic growth will likely be moderate in the near term.

 

LEADING INDICATORS. Six of the seven components in The Conference Board LEI for Australia increased in January.  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, gross operating surplus*, rural goods exports, and share prices.  Building approvals declined in January. 

With the 0.1 percent increase in January, The Conference Board LEI for Australia now stands at 121.2 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.7 percent in December and increased 0.3 percent in November. During the six-month period through January, the leading economic index increased 1.7 percent, and four of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 57.1 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Three of the four components in The Conference Board CEI for Australia increased in January.  The increases – in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – occurred in household gross disposable income*, employed persons, and retail trade.  Industrial production* declined in January.

With the increase of 0.1 percent in January, The Conference Board CEI for Australia now stands at 117.9 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in December and increased 0.1 percent in November.  During the six-month period through January, the coincident economic index increased 0.5 percent, with two of the four components in the series making positive contributions (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 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 March 22, 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.

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

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