Press Release Archive
Released: Monday, May 15, 2006
The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for the U.K increased 0.6 percent, and the coincident index increased 0.2 percent in March.
- The leading index increased sharply again in March, the fourth consecutive increase. With March's gain, the growth rate of the leading index has picked up to a range of 3.0 - 4.0 percent annual rate in recent months, up from the zero to negative 2.0 percent rate in the second half of 2005. In addition, the strengths among the leading indicators have become more widespread in recent months.
- The coincident index increased slightly again in March, and it has been on a slightly rising trend since mid-2005. At the same time, real GDP grew at a 2.6 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2006, up from the 2.1 percent average rate in the second half of 2005 and a 1.5 percent average rate the first half of the year. The continued strength in the leading index in recent months suggests that moderate economic growth should continue in the near term.
LEADING INDICATORS. Six of the eight components that make up the leading index increased in March. 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*, operating surplus of corporations, and new orders for engineering industries*. Consumer confidence and the FT fixed interest price index declined in March.
With the 0.6 percent increase in March, the leading index now stands at 136.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 1.0 percent in February and increased 0.2 percent in January. During the six-month span through March, the leading index increased 1.9 percent, with six of the eight components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).
COINCIDENT INDICATORS. All four components that make up the coincident index increased in March. The positive contributors - from the largest positive contributor to the smallest - were employment *, retail sales, industrial production, and real household disposable income*.
With the increase of 0.2 percent in March, the coincident index now stands at 116.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased in February and remained unchanged in January. During the six-month period through March, the coincident index increased 0.3 percent, with three of the four components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).
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 May 11, 2006. Some series are estimated as noted below.
* 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.