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Released: Tuesday, June 18, 2013
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Australia increased 0.3 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) also increased 0.3 percent in April.
- The Conference Board LEI for Australia increased in April for a fourth consecutive month, with money supply and stock prices making the largest positive contributions. Between October 2012 and April 2013, the leading economic index increased 0.7 percent (about a 1.5 percent annual rate), up from a decline of 0.4 percent (about a -0.8 percent annual rate) during 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, also increased in April. With this month’s gain, the six-month growth rate of the coincident economic index picked up to 1.2 percent (about a 2.5 percent annual rate), up from a 0.2 percent increase (about a 0.5 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. Moreover, the strengths among the coincident indicators have been very widespread, with all the coincident indicators rising over the last six 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 has been increasing at a modest pace since the beginning of 2013, and its six-month growth has continued to pick up compared to the second half of last year. Meanwhile, the slightly upward trend in the CEI continued through April, and its six-month grow rate has also improved. Taken together, the recent gains in both the LEI and CEI continue to suggest that the rate of economic expansion could continue to accelerate in the coming months.
LEADING INDICATORS. Five of the seven components in The Conference Board LEI for Australia increased in April. The positive contributors to the index — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — were money supply*, share prices, gross operating surplus*, rural goods exports, and the yield spread. The sales to inventories ratio* and building approvals declined in April.
With the 0.3 percent increase in April, The Conference Board LEI for Australia now stands at 123.1 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in March and increased 0.4 percent in February. During the six-month period through April, the leading economic index increased 0.7 percent, and six of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 85.7 percent).
COINCIDENT INDICATORS. All four components in The Conference Board CEI for Australia increased in April. The increases –- in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – occurred in employed persons, household gross disposable income*, retail trade, and industrial production*.
With the increase of 0.3 percent in April, The Conference Board CEI for Australia now stands at 122.9 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in March and increased 0.3 percent in February. During the six-month period through April, the coincident economic index increased 1.2 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. ET on June 15, 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.
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Indicators Program: 212-339-0330
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