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Benchmark Revisions - January 2008

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Released: Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Australia increased 0.4 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) increased 0.3 percent in May.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Australia increased in May following three consecutive declines. Money supply*, rural goods exports*, and building approvals made the largest positive contributions. Despite the gain in May, the leading economic index decreased by 1.1 percent (about a -2.2 percent annual rate) between November 2011 and May 2012, down from the decline of 0.6 percent (about a -1.3 percent annual rate) during the previous six months.  In addition, the weaknesses among the leading indicators remain more widespread than the strengths in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Australia, a measure of current economic activity, also increased in May with all of its components advancing. Between November 2011 and May 2012, the coincident economic index increased by 1.4 percent (about a 2.9 percent annual rate), up from a 0.9 percent increase (about a 1.9 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. Moreover, the strengths among the coincident indicators have been very widespread in recent months. At the same time, real GDP increased sharply by 5.3 percent (annual rate) in the first quarter of this year, up from the 2.5 percent growth (annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2011.
  • The Conference Board LEI for Australia increased in May after declining for three months in a row. However, its six-month change remains negative. Meanwhile, The Conference Board CEI for Australia has been on a slightly rising trend for the past year. Taken together, the recent behavior in the composite indexes suggests that despite the rapid pace of economic expansion in the first quarter, the rate of growth is likely to moderate in the near term.

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

With the 0.4 percent increase in May, The Conference Board LEI for Australia now stands at 123.6 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 1.3 percent in April and declined 0.1 percent in March. During the six-month period through May, the leading economic index decreased 1.1 percent, and three of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 42.9 percent).

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

With the increase of 0.3 percent in May, The Conference Board CEI for Australia now stands at 120.7 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in April and increased 0.4 percent in March. During the six-month period through May, the coincident economic index increased 1.4 percent, with all four components in the series making positive contributions (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100.0 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 July 23,2012.  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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