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Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Tuesday, December 10, 2002

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for the U.K. decreased 0.2 percent, and the coincident index increased 0.1 percent in October.

  • With this month’s decline, the leading index is now 4.5 percent below its most recent peak attained in February of last year. A large decline in book volume orders in October offset the third monthly increase in consumer confidence.
  • The coincident index, a measure of current economic conditions, posted its second consecutive modest gain in October. Continued strength in retail sales was the main contributor to this month’s increase.

Leading Indicators. Four of the nine components that make up the leading index decreased in October. The negative contributors – from the largest negative contributor to the smallest – are order book volume, the fixed interest price index, stock prices and the volume of expected output. The positive contributors to the index – from the largest positive contributor to the smallest - are consumer confidence, productivity for the whole economy* and new orders for engineering industries*. Operating surplus of corporations* and housing starts remained unchanged in October.

With the 0.2 percent decrease in October, the leading index now stands at 125.1 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in September and increased 0.6 percent in August. During the six-month span through October, the leading index increased 0.1 percent, and five of the nine components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 55.6 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Two of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in October. The positive contributors include retail sales and real household disposable income*. Industrial production and employment* remained unchanged in October.

Increasing 0.1 percent in October, the coincident index now stands at 113.3 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in September and remained flat in August. During the six-month period through October, the coincident index increased 0.4 percent, with three of the components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 62.5 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 December 9, 2002. Some series are estimated as noted below.

*Notes: Series in the leading index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are 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.