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Released: Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Australia increased 0.2 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) remained unchanged in May.

  • The Conference Board LEI for Australia increased in May after a slight decline in April. With May’s increase, the six-month growth rate in the leading economic index improved to 2.1 percent (about a 4.3 percent annual rate) growth between November 2013 to May 2014, up from 1.4 percent (about a 2.9 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. The strengths among the leading indicators continued to outweigh the weaknesses, with six out of seven components advancing over the past six months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for Australia, a measure of current economic activity, was unchanged in May. The coincident economic index grew 1.4 percent (about a 2.8 percent annual rate) in the six-month period through May 2014, considerably better than its growth of 0.6 percent (about a 1.1 percent annual rate) in the previous six months. Meanwhile, real GDP increased at a 4.5 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2014, up from 3.2 percent (annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2013.
  • The Conference Board LEI for Australia edged up slightly in May, but has been relatively flat in the past three months. As a result, its six-month growth rate has moderated in recent months compared to the second half of 2013. Meanwhile, the six-month growth rate of the CEI for Australia has been relatively stable. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that economic expansion is unlikely to gain momentum in the near term.

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

With the 0.2 percent increase in May, The Conference Board LEI for Australia now stands at 129.7 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.2 percent in April and increased 0.2 percent in March. During the six-month period through May, the leading economic index increased 2.1 percent, and six of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 85.7 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Two of the four components that make up The Conference Board CEI for Australia increased in May. The advancing components — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — were household gross disposable income* and industrial production*. Retail trade and employed persons declined in May.

With no change in May, The Conference Board CEI for Australia now stands at 125.1 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in April and increased 0.2 percent in March. During the six-month period through May, the coincident economic index increased 1.4 percent, with all four components 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 July 15, 2014. 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.

Professional Contacts at The Conference Board:

Indicator Program: indicators@conference-board.org

Media Contacts:

Carol Courter:
1 212 339 0232
carol.courter@conference-board.org

Jonathan Liu:
1 212 339 0257
Jonathan.liu@conference-board.org

©The Conference Board 2013. All data contained in this table are protected by United States and international copyright laws. The data displayed are provided for informational purposes only and may only be accessed, reviewed, and/or used in with the permission accordance of The Conference Board consistent with a subscriber or license agreement and the Terms of Use displayed on our website at www.conference-board.org. The data and analysis contained herein may not be used, redistributed, published, or posted by any means without express written permission from The Conference Board.

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