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Released: Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for China was flat in March. The Index stands at 258.3 (2004 = 100), following a 1.2 percent increase in February and a 1.7 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.

Says Andrew Polk, resident economist at The Conference Board China Center in Beijing: “The LEI was flat in March, signaling that what little steam the economy was enjoying is already dissipating. Falling real estate activity, a result of the government tightening the noose on purchases, was the main culprit. Meanwhile, the index of current economic conditions fell in March – for the second time in the last three months -- due to significantly weaker industrial activity, and is in line with the moderation in economic growth in the first quarter of this year.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for China, which measures current economic activity, declined 0.2 percent in March to 236.1 (2004 = 100), following a 2.9 percent increase in February and a 0.3 percent decline in January. Three of the 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 2013 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


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