Press Release Archive
Released: Monday, April 11, 2005
The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for the U.K. increased 0.7 percent and coincident index increased 0.1 percent in February.
- The leading index increased sharply in February, and there were upward revisions to the previous several months as actual data for fourth quarter productivity and gross operating surplus became available. As a result, the leading index has increased at a 2.0 to 3.0 percent annual rate in recent months, up from virtually no growth in the second half of 2004. This recent growth is still below the very rapid growth in early 2004, but the strength among the leading indicators in recent months has been very widespread.
- The coincident index increased slightly again in February, keeping it on a steadily rising trend. At the same time, real GDP increased at a 2.6 percent annual rate in the second half of 2004, down from a 3.5 percent average rate over the previous four quarters. Although it is too early to conclude that the sluggish growth since the second half of 2004 is over, the recent improvement in the leading index suggests that economic growth should pick up slightly in the near term.
Leading Indicators.Seven 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, stock prices, productivity for the whole economy*, consumer confidence, operating surplus of corporations*, and new orders for engineering industries*. The fixed interest price index declined in February.
With the 0.7 percent increase in February, the leading index now stands at 135.2 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in both January and December. During the six-month span through February, the leading index increased 1.5 percent, with four of the eight components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 percent).
Coincident Indicators.Three of the four components that make up the coincident index increased in February. The positive contributors - from the largest positive contributor to the smallest - were employment*, real household disposable income*, and retail sales. Industrial production declined in February.
With the 0.1 percent increase in February, the coincident index now stands at 115.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in January and remained unchanged in December. During the six-month period through February, the coincident index increased 0.5 percent, with three of the four components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 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 April 8, 2005. 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.