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Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Monday, August 18, 2003

Due to last week’s Blackout, distribution of the UK release has been delayed until today. The release will not be immediately available on the Global Business Cycle Indicators Website.

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for the U.K. increased 0.4 percent, and the coincident index increased 0.3 percent in June.

  • The leading index increased for a third consecutive month in June. Strong consumer confidence and a continued pick up in stock prices have been the main components boosting the index.
  • The coincident index has been increasing moderately since the beginning of the year. Moreover, both the one- and six-month diffusion indexes, measures of the proportion of the components that are rising, were at 100 percent in June, indicating that the economic improvement has been widespread.
  • Recent developments in the leading index are consistent with slightly stronger economic growth in the near term. However, the leading index would have to increase more rapidly for a longer period in order to signal sustained above trend economic growth.

Leading Indicators. Five of the nine components that make up the leading index increased in June. The positive contributors – from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – were consumer confidence, stock prices, order book volume, productivity for the whole economy*, and housing starts*. The three negative contributors to the index – beginning with the largest negative contributor – were fixed interest price index, volume of expected output, and new orders for engineering industries*. Operating surplus of corporations* was unchanged in June.

With the 0.4 percent increase in June, the leading index now stands at 124.2 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.6 percent in May and increased 0.1 percent in April. During the six-month span through June, the leading index decreased 0.5 percent with four of the nine components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50 percent).

Coincident Indicators. All four components that make up the coincident index increased in June. Retail sales was the largest contributor, followed by employment*, real household disposable income*, and industrial production.

With a 0.3 percent increase in June, the coincident index now stands at 114.5 (1990=100). This index held steady in May and increased 0.3 percent in April. During the six-month period through June, the coincident index increased 0.6 percent, with all four components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100 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 August 14, 2003. 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, housing starts, 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.