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Benchmark Revisions - January 2008

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Released: Wednesday, August 21, 2013

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

  • The Conference Board LEI for Australia fell slightly in June, after remaining unchanged in May, with building approvals and stock prices making the largest negative contributions to the index. During the first half of 2013, the leading economic index increased 0.8 percent (about a 1.6 percent annual rate), reversing the decline of 1.1 percent (about a -2.3 percent annual rate) between June and December 2012. Additionally, the strengths among the leading indicators have remained more widespread than the weaknesses in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Australia, a measure of current economic activity, increased slightly in June. The coincident economic index gained 1.0 percent (about a 2.0 percent annual rate) in the six-month period ending June 2013, up from a 0.1 percent increase (about a 0.2 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. Moreover, the strengths among the coincident indicators have remained very widespread, with all the coincident indicators rising in recent months. Meanwhile, real GDP increased at a 2.2 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2013, about the same rate as in the fourth quarter of 2012.
  • The LEI for Australia declined slightly in June, after increasing at a modest pace since the beginning of 2013. However, the six-month growth in the LEI remains stronger than it was during the second half of 2012, with widespread strengths among its components. Meanwhile, the six-month growth rate in the CEI has mostly accelerated in the first half of the year. Taken together, the recent behavior in both the LEI and CEI suggests that the current rate of economic expansion is likely to continue in the coming months.  

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

With the 0.2 percent decrease in June, The Conference Board LEI for Australia now stands at 122.9 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in May and increased 0.3 percent in April. During the six-month period through June, the leading economic index increased 0.8 percent, and six of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 85.7 percent).

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

With the increase of 0.1 percent in June, The Conference Board CEI for Australia now stands at 122.7 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in May and increased 0.2 percent in April. During the six-month period through June, the coincident economic index increased 1.0 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. EDT on August 20, 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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