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Benchmark Revisions - January 2008

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Released: Monday, December 17, 2012

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Australia increased 0.2 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) increased 0.1 percent in October.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Australia increased in October following three consecutive monthly declines. Rural goods exports, building approvals, and stock prices made positive contributions to the index this month.  Despite the small gain,, the six-month change in the leading economic index contracted by 0.8 percent (about a -1.6 percent annual rate) between April and October 2012, up from the decline of 2.1 percent (about a -4.2 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. Though the index has declined overall during the past six months, the strengths among the leading indicators have become more widespread than the weaknesses during this period.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Australia, a measure of current economic activity, also increased in October. The six-month growth rate of the coincident economic index increased by 0.4 percent (about a 0.8 percent annual rate) between April and October 2012, down from the 0.8 percent increase (about a 1.7 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. Moreover, the strengths among the coincident indicators have become less widespread during the last six months. Meanwhile, real GDP increased at a 1.9 percent annual rate in the third quarter of 2012, slightly down from 2.3 percent (annual rate) in the second quarter.
  • The LEI for Australia increased in October after declining in the last three months. Nevertheless, the six-month change in the LEI remains negative. Meanwhile, the CEI for Australia also increased slightly in October, but its six-month growth rate has moderated compared to earlier this year. Taken together, the composite indexes and their components continue to suggest that the rate of economic growth is likely to slow in the near term.  

LEADING INDICATORS.  Four 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 rural goods exports, share prices, building approvals, and the sales to inventories ratio*.  Gross operating surplus*, yield spread, and money supply* declined in October.  

With the 0.2 percent increase in October, The Conference Board LEI for Australia now stands at 122.7 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index declined 0.4 percent in September and declined 1.0 percent in August. During the six-month period through October, the leading economic index decreased 0.8 percent, and four of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 64.3 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS.  Three of the 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 industrial production*, employed persons, and household gross disposable income*.  Retail trade declined in October.

With the increase of 0.1 percent in October, The Conference Board CEI for Australia now stands at 120.5 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in both September and August.  During the six-month period through October, the coincident economic index increased 0.4 percent, with two of four components in the index 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 December 13, 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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