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Benchmark Revisions - January 2008

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Released: Tuesday, October 22, 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 August.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Australia fell slightly in August, reversing July’s small increase. Money supply and building approvals both declined, more than offsetting positive contributions from the yield spread, sales to inventories ratio, and stock prices. The leading economic index increased 0.4 percent (about a 0.8 percent annual rate) between February and August 2013, about the same rate as for the previous six months. 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 August. In addition, the previous two months’ declines were revised up, resulting in no change. Between February and August 2013, the coincident economic index increased 0.3 percent (about a 0.7 percent annual rate), down from the increase of 0.6 percent (about a 1.2 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. Nevertheless, the strengths and weaknesses among the coincident indicators have remained balanced in the last six 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 fell slightly in August following a small gain in July, and its six-month growth rate has slowed moderately compared to the first half of the year. Meanwhile, the CEI has been essentially flat since the beginning of this year, and its six-month growth rate has also eased. Taken together, the recent moderation in growth in the LEI suggests that the rate of economic expansion is likely to slow in the final months this year.  

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

With the 0.2 percent decrease in August, The Conference Board LEI for Australia now stands at 123.3 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in July and declined 0.2 percent in June. During the six-month period through August, the leading economic index increased 0.4 percent, and six of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 85.7 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Two of the four components in The Conference Board CEI for Australia increased in August.  The increases - in order from the larger positive contributor to the smaller – occurred in household gross disposable income* and industrial production*.  Employed persons declined, while retail trade was unchanged in August.

With the increase of 0.1 percent in August, The Conference Board CEI for Australia now stands at 122.6 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in both July and June.  During the six-month period through August, the coincident economic index increased 0.3 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. ET on October 21, 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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