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Benchmark Revisions - January 2008

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Released: Monday, November 19, 2012

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Australia declined 0.3 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) remained unchanged in September.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Australia fell in September for the third consecutive month, with building approvals continuing to make the largest negative contribution to the index. Between March and September 2012, the leading economic index contracted by 1.1 percent (about a -2.2 percent annual rate), up from the 1.6 percent decline (about a -3.1 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. However, the strengths among the leading indicators continue to be more widespread than the weaknesses.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Australia, a measure of current economic activity, was unchanged in September. The six-month growth rate of the coincident economic index increased by 0.3 percent (about a 0.7 percent annual rate) between March and September 2012, down from the 0.8 percent increase (about a 1.7 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. Nevertheless, the strengths among the coincident indicators remained more widespread than the weaknesses. Meanwhile, real GDP increased by 2.6 percent (annual rate) in the second quarter, down from the 5.6 percent increase (annual rate) in the first quarter of 2012.
  • The LEI for Australia declined throughout the third quarter of 2012 and as a result, the six-month change in the LEI remains negative. Meanwhile, the CEI for Australia was flat again in September, and its six-month growth rate has fallen compared to earlier this year. Taken together, the composite indexes and their components suggest that the economy will continue to expand, but that the pace of growth is likely to slow. 

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

With the 0.3 percent decrease in September, The Conference Board LEI for Australia now stands at 123.4 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index declined 0.8 percent in August and declined 0.1 percent in July. During the six-month period through September, the leading economic index decreased 1.1 percent, and five of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 71.4 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS.  Two of the four components in The Conference Board CEI for Australia increased in September. The increases — in order from the larger positive contributor to the smaller — occurred in employed persons and household gross disposable income*. Retail trade declined, while industrial production* remained unchanged in September.

Holding steady in September, The Conference Board CEI for Australia now stands at 120.2 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in both August and July. During the six-month period through September, the coincident economic index increased 0.3 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 November 16,2012.  Some series are estimated as noted below.

* 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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