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Benchmark Revisions - January 2008

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Released: Monday, April 22, 2013

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Australia increased 0.3 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) increased 0.5 percent in February.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Australia increased again in February for the second consecutive month, with rural goods exports and stock prices making the largest positive contributions to the index. The leading economic index has been flat over the six months between August 2012 and February 2013, an improvement over its decline of 1.1 percent (about a -2.3 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. Additionally, the strengths and weaknesses among the leading indicators have become balanced in the last six months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Australia, a measure of current economic activity, also increased in February. In the six-month period ending February 2013, the coincident economic index increased by 0.5 percent (about a 1.0 percent annual rate), down from the 0.9 percent increase (about a 1.8 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. Nevertheless, the strengths and weaknesses among the coincident indicators have been fairly balanced in recent months. Meanwhile, real GDP increased at a 2.4 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2012, slightly down from the 2.6 percent (annual rate) in the third quarter of the year.
  • The LEI for Australia increased again in February, and its six-month change emerged from negative territory for the first time in more than a year. Meanwhile, the CEI also increased in February, and its six-month grow rate has improved somewhat from the second half of last year. Taken together, the recent improvement in both the LEI and CEI and their components suggests that the economy should continue to grow at a steady pace.  

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

With the 0.3 percent increase in February, The Conference Board LEI for Australia now stands at 122.2 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in January and declined 0.2 percent in December. During the six-month period through February, the leading economic index remained unchanged, and four 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 February.  The increases - in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – occurred in employed persons, retail trade, household gross disposable income*, and industrial production*.  

With the increase of 0.5 percent in February, The Conference Board CEI for Australia now stands at 122.1 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in January and decreased 0.1 percent in December.  During the six-month period through February, the coincident economic index increased 0.5 percent, with two of the four components in the series making positive contributions (diffusion index, six-month span equals 62.5 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. EDT on April 19, 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 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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