Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index™ (LEI) for the U.K. declined 0.4 percent in January to 93.1 (2004 = 100), following a 0.7 percent fall in December and a 1.2 percent drop in November. Consumer confidence, volume of expected output and order book volume continued to make negative contributions to the index, more than offsetting a positive contribution from the yield spread.

Download a PDF of the technical notes for underlying detail, diffusion indexes, components, contributions and graphs.

Download a PDF of the press release with graph and summary table.

The Conference Board LEI for the U.K. has been declining for a year and a half. The combination of the duration, depth and diffusion of the decline has not been this severe since the recession in the early 1980s. At the same time, The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index™ (CEI) for the U.K., a measure of current economic activity, declined 0.1 percent in January, following a 0.1 percent increase in December and a 0.2 percent decline in November. The CEI now stands at 103.7 (2004 = 100).

Said Jean-Claude Manini, The Conference Board Senior Economist for Europe: "The massive and unprecedented measures taken by the British authorities to ease credit conditions and support demand may kick in at the end of 2009 and early 2010, but uncertainty about future economic conditions remains high and the balance of risk is tilted down. Moreover, The Conference Board Leading Economic Index™ (LEI) for the United Kingdom does not provide any recovery signal. Including its decrease of 0.4 percent in January 2009, the index has dropped more than 10.0 percent since its most recent peak in June 2007, which is worse than its 2000 and 1998 falls."

The Conference Board LEI for the U.K. aggregates seven economic indicators that measure activity in the U.K., each of which has proven accurate on its own. Aggregating individual indicators into a composite index filters out so-called "noise" to show underlying trends more clearly.

Plotted back to 1970, this index has successfully signaled turning points in the U.K. business cycles. The Conference Board currently produces leading economic indexes for the Euro Area and eight other individual countries, including the U.S., Germany, France, Spain, Japan, Australia, Korea and Mexico.

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