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Released: Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for China increased 0.3 percent in September to 241.2 (2004 = 100), following a 1.7 percent increase in August and a 0.7 percent increase in July. Four of the six components contributed positively to the index in September.

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.

“The LEI’s very modest pickup in September, due in large part to a heavy drag from real estate, points to an economy that is unlikely to pick up rapidly in the near term. Credit extension and some tentative stabilization in the manufacturing sector buoyed the index – along with slightly improved export orders going into the West’s holiday season.”  Says Andrew Polk, resident economist at The Conference Board China Center in Beijing, “The real estate sector’s strong performance in August does not appear to have extended into September, a traditionally strong month for real estate transactions. Sharp increases in government-sponsored infrastructure spending should continue in the coming months, helping to support industrial and manufacturing activity, even as real estate activity remains weak. These volatile movements illustrate that the near-term outlook continues to be uncertain.”  

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for China, which measures current economic activity, increased 0.5 percent in September to 224.4 (2004 = 100), following a 0.5 percent increase in August and a 0.6 percent increase in July. Four of the five components contributed positively to the index in September.

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