Press Release Archive
Released: Wednesday, April 14, 2004
The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for the U.K. increased 0.7 percent and the coincident index increased 0.1 percent in February.
- The leading index has now increased for seven consecutive months. The strength over this period has been widespread, although there has been some concentration in leading indicators of the industrial sector. The leading index has increased at a 5.0 percent annual rate from its most recent low in March 2003, and at an even more rapid 9.0 percent rate over the last four to five months.
- As signaled by the leading index, real GDP growth picked up to a 3.4 percent average annual rate in the second half of 2003 from 1.7 percent in the first half of the year. At the same time, the coincident index has continued increasing at a steady rate. The stronger growth rate of the leading index in recent months suggests some further improvement in the rate of economic growth in the near term.
Leading Indicators.Six of the eight components that make up the leading index increased in February. The positive contributors – from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – were volume of expected output, order book volume, consumer confidence, productivity for the whole economy*, the fixed interest price index, and operating surplus of corporations*. New orders for engineering industries* and stock prices were unchanged in February.
With the 0.7 percent increase in February, the leading index now stands at 132.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 1.2 percent in January and increased 0.5 percent in December. During the six-month span through February, the leading index increased 3.3 percent with seven of the eight components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 87.5 percent).
Coincident Indicators. Two of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in February. Employment* and real household disposable income* increased in February, while industrial production declined. Retail sales remained unchanged in February.
With the 0.1 percent increase in February, the coincident index now stands at 114.3 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in January increased 0.4 percent in December. During the six-month period through February, the coincident index increased 1.0 percent, with three of the four 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 April 13, 2004. 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.
THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.