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Released: Monday, November 18, 2013
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Australia increased 0.3 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) increased 0.1 percent in September.
- The Conference Board LEI for Australia increased slightly in September, with building approvals and the yield spread making the largest positive contributions. With this month’s gain, the leading economic index increased 0.6 percent (about a 1.1 percent annual rate) between March and September 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, also increased slightly in September. Between March and September 2013, the coincident economic index increased 0.2 percent (about a 0.3 percent annual rate), down from the increase of 0.7 percent (about a 1.5 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. Nevertheless, the strengths among the coincident indicators have remained more widespread than the weaknesses 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 continued its slight upward trend, which started earlier this year, through the third quarter. Meanwhile, the CEI has been essentially flat in the last six months. Taken together, the steady growth in the LEI suggests that the rate of economic expansion is likely to continue through early 2014.
LEADING INDICATORS. Five of the seven components in The Conference Board LEI for Australia increased in September. The positive contributors to the index — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — are building approvals, the yield spread, the sales to inventories ratio*, money supply*, and share prices. Rural goods exports declined, while gross operating surplus* remained unchanged in September.
With the 0.3 percent increase in September, The Conference Board LEI for Australia now stands at 123.6 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.2 percent in August and increased 0.2 percent in July. During the six-month period through September, the leading economic index increased 0.6 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 September. The increases - in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – occurred in retail trade, household gross disposable income*, employed persons, and industrial production*.
With the increase of 0.1 percent in September, The Conference Board CEI for Australia now stands at 122.5 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in both August and July. During the six-month period through September, the coincident economic index increased 0.2 percent, with three of the four components in the series making positive contributions (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 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 November 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.
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