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Global Business Cycle Indicators


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Released: Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the Euro Area increased 0.6 percent in August, to 105.3 (2004=100), after remaining unchanged in July and declining 0.2 percent in June.

“In August, the LEI for the Euro Area rose for the first time in six months, fueled by good stock market performance and improved business confidence. However, it seems too early to interpret this as a sign of stabilization, let alone as a sign of a sustainable recovery,” says Jean-Claude Manini, The Conference Board Senior Economist for Europe. “Production-related indicators remained in contraction territory and consumer confidence declined on rising unemployment fears. If European decision makers can maintain the momentum towards greater financial and fiscal stabilization, then these first signs of better business confidence may help to support somewhat stronger economic conditions later in the year or early 2013.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the Euro Area, which measures current economic activity, increased 0.1 percent in August. The index now stands at 102.2 (2004 = 100) according to preliminary estimates*. The CEI was unchanged in July and decreased 0.1 percent in June.

About The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the Euro Area

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® for the Euro Area was launched in January 2009. Plotted back to 1987, this index has successfully signaled turning points in the business cycle of the bloc of countries that now constitute the Euro Area, defined by the common currency zone.

The Conference Board currently produces leading economic indexes for ten other individual countries, including Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S.

The seven components of The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® for the Euro Area include:

Economic Sentiment Index (source: European Commission DG-ECFIN)
Index of Residential Building Permits Granted (source: Eurostat)
EURO STOXX® Index (source: STOXX Limited)
Money Supply (M2) (source: European Central Bank)
Interest Rate Spread (source: European Central Bank)
Eurozone Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (source: Markit Economics)
Eurozone Service Sector Future Business Activity Expectations Index (source: Markit Economics)

To view The Conference Board calendar for 2012 indicator releases:

* Series in The Conference Board LEI for the Euro Area that are based on The Conference Board estimates are real money supply and residential building permits. All series in The Conference Board CEI for the Euro Area are based on The Conference Board estimates (employment, industrial production, retail trade, and manufacturing turnover).

NOTE: Beginning with this release, several data series in both The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the Euro Area and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the Euro Area will now be provided by Haver Analytics, and not Thomson Reuters DataStream. As a result, some data series have been revised, but these changes do not affect the overall cyclical properties of the indexes.  For more information about these changes please contact

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world’s leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.


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