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Released: Monday, April 23, 2012

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for China increased 0.8 percent in March to 230.6 (2004 = 100), following a 1.0 percent increase in February and a 2.1 percent increase in January. Three of the six components contributed positively to the index in March.

Download a PDF of the technical notes for underlying detail, diffusion indexes, components, contributions and graphs in Chinese.

Download a PDF of the press release in Chinese.

“While the China LEI in March continued to increase and its six-month growth rate remained steady, this month’s reading supports a continued slowing of the economy,” says Andrew Polk, resident economist at The Conference Board China Center in Beijing. “The volatility among LEI indicators suggests that significant downside risks remain, for example, new loans, which were unexpectedly robust in March, and supplier delivery times contributed most positively to the index, while consumer sentiment and real estate contributed largely offsetting drags. The diffusion index, which measures the balance among the rising and falling index components, also showed that risks are tilted towards the downside, highlighting the increasing fragility of China’s economy. ”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for China, which measures current economic activity, increased 0.6 percent in March to 219.1 (2004 = 100), following a 4.0 percent increase in February and a 3.0 percent decrease in January. All five components contributed positively to the index in March.

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

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. For additional information about The Conference Board and how it can meet your needs, visit our website at