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Benchmark Revisions - January 2008

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Released: Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Australia increased 0.3 percent andThe Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) declined 0.2 percent in July.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Australia increased slightly in July, and there was a downward revision to June’s small decline as actual data for price deflators for the second quarter became available. With the gain in July, the leading economic index increased 0.3 percent (about a 0.7 percent annual rate) in the last six months, an improvement over the decline of 0.7 percent (about a -1.5 percent annual rate) between July 2012 and January 2013. 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, fell in July. June’s small gain was also revised down, to a sharp decline. Between January and July 2013, the coincident economic index declined 0.9 percent (about a -1.8 percent annual rate), down from the increase of 0.3 percent (about a 0.7 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 2.4 percent annual rate in the second quarter of 2013, slightly up from the 2.2 percent annual rate reached in the first quarter.
  • The LEI for Australia increased slightly in July following a large decline in June, and its six-month growth rate remains stronger than during the second half of 2012. Meanwhile, the CEI has declined in the last two months through July, and as a result, its six-month growth rate has turned negative. Despite the recent weakness in the CEI, the continued growth in the LEI suggests that the current rate of economic expansion is likely to persist in the coming months.  

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

With the 0.3 percent increase in July, The Conference Board LEI for Australia now stands at 122.6 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index declined 1.1 percent in June and increased 0.1 percent in May. During the six-month period through July, the leading economic index increased 0.3 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 July. The increases – in order from the larger positive contributor to the smaller – occurred in household gross disposable income* and industrial production*.  Retail trade and employed persons declined in July.

With the decrease of 0.2 percent in July, The Conference Board CEI for Australia now stands at 120.8 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index decreased 1.1 percent in June and remained unchanged May.  During the six-month period through July, the coincident economic index decreased 0.9 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 September 14, 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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