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Benchmark Revisions - January 2008

Press Release Archive

Released: Monday, January 28, 2013

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This month's release incorporates annual benchmark revisions to the composite economic indexes. These regular benchmark revisions bring the indexes up-to-date with revisions in the source data, but 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 incorporated when the benchmark revision is made and the entire histories of the indexes are recomputed. As a result, the revised indexes and their month-over-month changes will no longer be directly comparable to those issued prior to the benchmark revision.

For more information, please visit our website at
www.conference-board.org/data/bci.cfm or contact indicators@conference-board.org.

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

  • The Conference Board LEI for Australia fell slightly in November reversing a small gain in October. Between May and November 2012, the six-month change in the leading economic index decreased by 0.9 percent (about a -1.8 percent annual rate), slightly more than the decline of 0.7 percent (about a -1.5 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. Still, the strengths and weaknesses among the leading indicators have been somewhat balanced in the last six months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Australia, a measure of current economic activity, increased slightly in November. The six-month growth rate of the coincident economic index increased by 0.2 percent (about a 0.3 percent annual rate) between May and November 2012, down from the 1.3 percent increase (about a 2.7 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. The strengths and weaknesses among the coincident indicators have remained balanced in recent 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 fell in November, and has declined in four of the last six months. As a result, its six-month change remains negative. Meanwhile, the CEI  remains essentially on a flat trend and  its rate of growth has decelerated from the first half of 2012. Taken together, the composite indexes and their components continue to suggest that the pace of economic expansion is likely to slow in the near term.  

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

With the 0.2 percent decrease in November, The Conference Board LEI for Australia now stands at 121.9 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in October and declined 0.3 percent in September. During the six-month period through November, the leading economic index decreased 0.9 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 November.  The increases — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — occurred in employed persons, industrial production*, and household gross disposable income*.  Retail trade declined in November.

With the increase of 0.1 percent in November, The Conference Board CEI for Australia now stands at 121.6 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in both October and September.  During the six-month period through November, the coincident economic index increased 0.2 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 January 24, 2013.  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, 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.

**Starting with the January 2013 release, The Conference Board is using the level of the interest rate yield spread, rather than its monthly change, to calculate the one and six-month diffusion indexes of The Conference Board LEI for Australia.  The calculation of the contribution from the yield spread in the LEI for Australia has also changed. The contribution of this component is now calculated from the monthly value of the yield spread instead of its 3-month moving average.

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

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