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Benchmark Revisions - July 2007

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Released: Wednesday, October 9, 2002

This month's release incorporates benchmark revisions to the composite indexes. With this release, the composite indexes are changed in composition and updated to incorporate revisions in component data. As a result the indexes will no longer be comparable to those issued prior to this benchmark revision.

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for the U.K. increased 0.6 percent, and the coincident index increased 0.1 percent in August.

  • After two consecutive monthly declines, the leading index increased in August, led by strong gains in the monthly survey of expected output and the fixed interest price index. Despite this month’s strength in the index, however, it still remains nearly four percent below its most recent high in February 2001.
  • The coincident index, a measure of current economic conditions, continued its steady upward trend in August. The strength in the coincident index remains widespread across all of its components as shown by the six-month diffusion index remaining above 50 percent for the past four years.

Leading Indicators. Five of the nine components that make up the leading index increased in August. The positive contributors – in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – are volume of expected output, the fixed interest price index, consumer confidence, productivity of the whole economy*, and order book volume. Two components -- new orders for engineering industries* and operating surplus of corporations* -- remained unchanged in August. The remaining two components -- house building starts* and stock prices -- decreased in August. (For details see Data Availability section and Tables).

With the 0.6 percent increase in August, the leading index now stands at 125.0 (1990=100). This index decreased 0.7 percent in July and decreased 0.2 percent in June. During the six-month span through August, the leading index increased 1.8 percent, and five of the nine components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 55.6 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Three of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in August. The positive contributors include real household disposable income*, employment, and retail sales. Only industrial production* decreased in August. (For details see Data Availability section and Tables).

Increasing 0.1 percent in August, the coincident index now stands at 113.2 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in July and decreased 0.3 percent in June. During the six-month period through August, the coincident index increased 0.7 percent, with all four components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100.0 percent).

Data Availability

The data series used by The Conference Board to compute the two composite indexes reported in the tables in this release are those available "as of" 10 A.M. ET on October 8, 2002. Some series are estimated as noted below.

*Notes: Series in the leading index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are the house building starts, new orders in engineering industries, productivity of the whole economy, and operating surplus of corporations. Series in the coincident index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are employment and real household disposable income.


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