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Global Business Cycle Indicators


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Released: Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index®(LEI) for China increased 1.6 percent in January to 225.7 (2004 = 100), following a 0.8 percent increase in December and a 0.5 percent increase in November. Five of the six components contributed positively to the index in January.

“The January uptick in the LEI for China raised the six month growth rate slightly, but the trend remains slower than the first half of 2011 and equal numbers of its components have been rising and falling over the past several months, indicating a broad-based slowing.” says Andrew Polk, Resident China Economist at The Conference Board in Beijing. “The preliminary data for construction activity as well as consumer expectations made by far the largest contributions to the LEI in January, while loans and the purchasing manager indexes for supplier delivery and new exports orders weakened,” he adds. “The LEI for China therefore still points to continued but slower growth in 2012. However, headline policy is likely to remain relatively tight as authorities will be wary of re-stoking inflation and asset prices.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index®(CEI) for China, which measures current economic activity, increased 0.8 percent in January to 217.6 (2004 = 100) according to preliminary estimates*, following a 0.9 percent increase in December and a 1.2 percent increase in November. All five components contributed positively to the index in January.

The Conference Board LEI for China aggregates six economic indicators that measure economic activity in China. Each of the LEI components has proven accurate on its own. Aggregating individual indicators into a composite index filters out so-called “noise” to show underlying trends more clearly.

About The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for China 

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® for China was launched in May 2010. Plotted back to 1986, this index has successfully signaled turning points in the economic cycles of China.

The Conference Board also produces LEIs for Australia, the Euro Area, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.


The six components of The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for China include:

Total Loans Issued by Financial Institutions (source: People’s Bank of China)

5000 Industry Enterprises Diffusion Index: Raw Materials Supply Index (source: People’s Bank of China)

NBS Manufacturing PMI Sub-Indices: PMI Supplier Deliveries (source: National Bureau of Statistics)

Consumer Expectations Index (source: National Bureau of Statistics)

Total Floor Space Started (source: National Bureau of Statistics)

NBS Manufacturing PMI Sub-Indices: Export Orders (source: National Bureau of Statistics)


For more information including full press release and technical notes:

To view The Conference Board calendar of 2012 indicator releases:

About The Conference Board

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