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Released: Thursday, January 9, 2003

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

  • The decline in the leading index this month is primarily due to a dramatic drop in the volume of expected output. Despite declining over the past two months, this index is still 3.6 percent above the most recent low in December 2001.
  • The coincident index, a measure of current economic conditions, increased for a third consecutive month in November. This strength is broadly-based as evidenced by a strong diffusion index which measures the proportion of the components that are rising.

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

With the 0.1 percent decrease in November, the leading index now stands at 125.3 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.4 percent in October and increased 0.2 percent in September. During the six-month span through November, the leading index held steady, and six of the nine components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span equals 66.1 percent).

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

Increasing 0.2 percent in November, the coincident index now stands at 113.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in October and increased 0.3 percent in September. During the six-month period through November, the coincident index increased 0.6 percent, with three of the components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75 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 January 8, 2003. Some series are estimated as noted below.

*NOTES: Series in the leading index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are housing 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 industrial production, employment and real household disposable income.

THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.

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