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Benchmark Revisions - January 2008

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Released: Monday, December 19, 2011

This months 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.

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Australia increased 0.6 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) increased 0.3 percent in October.

  •  The Conference Board LEI for Australia increased again in October, and there were upward revisions to the index to the previous several months, as actual data for the sales to inventory ratio* and gross operating surplus (private nonfinancial corporations)* became available. The sales to inventory ratio*, rural goods exports, and gross operating surplus* all made large positive contributions to the index this month. Between April and October 2011, the leading economic index increased by 3.6 percent (about a 7.4 percent annual rate), well above the 0.8 percent growth (about a 1.5 percent annual rate) from October 2010 to April 2011. In addition, the strengths among the leading indicators have been slightly more widespread than the weaknesses in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Australia, a measure of current economic activity, also increased in October with all of the components making positive contributions. Between April and October 2011, the coincident economic index increased by 1.3 percent (about a 2.6 percent annual rate) – an improvement after remaining flat for the previous six months. At the same time, real GDP increased by 3.9 percent (annual rate) in the third quarter of this year, down from 5.7 percent (annual rate) in the second quarter.
  • The Conference Board LEI for Australia continued on an upward trend which started in mid-2009 with only a small pause in the beginning of 2011, and its six-month growth rate has picked up this year. Meanwhile, The Conference Board CEI for Australia has also been rising, and its rate of growth has picked up since mid-2011. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that although downward risks remain, the economy is likely to continue expanding in the near term.

LEADING INDICATORS.  Five of the seven components in The Conference Board LEI for Australia increased in October.  The positive contributors to the index — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — are the sales to inventories ratio*, rural goods exports, gross operating surplus*, share prices, and money supply*.  Building approvals and yield spread declined in October. 

With the 0.6 percent increase in October, The Conference Board LEI for Australia now stands at 125.3 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.6 percent in September and increased 0.7 percent in August. During the six-month period through October, the leading economic index increased 3.6 percent, and three of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 57.1 percent).

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

With the increase of 0.3 percent in October, The Conference Board CEI for Australia now stands at 119.3 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.4 percent in September and increased 0.3 percent in August.  During the six-month period through October, the coincident economic index increased 1.3 percent, with all four components in the series making positive contributions (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100 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 December 16, 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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