Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.K. increased by 0.3 percent in May to 102.4 (2004 = 100), following gains of 0.6 percent in April and 1.0 percent in March. Four of the seven components made positive contributions to the index.

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Said Jean-Claude Manini, The Conference Board Senior Economist for Europe: “The increase in the LEI for the United Kingdom has slowed as a result of weakening confidence. However, unlike the Euro Area, it has failed to drag the index into negative territory. Increasing production will continue to support the recovery in the short term, but both domestic and Euro Area deficit reduction measures will weigh on growth in 2011.”

The Conference Board LEI for the U.K. has been increasing for more than a year, but remains 2.3 percent below its June 2007 peak. At the same time, The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.K., a measure of current economic activity, increased by 0.1 percent in May, after increasing by 0.1 percent in April and 0.2 percent in March.  The index now stands at 102.6 (2004 = 100).

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.

The seven components of The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.K. include:

 Order Book Volume (source: Confederation of British Industry)

Volume of Expected Output (source: Confederation of British Industry)

Consumer Confidence Indicator (source: European Commission)

FTSE All-Share Index (source: FTSE Group)

Yield Spread (source: Bank of England)

Productivity, Whole Economy (Office for National Statistics)

Total Gross Operating Surplus of Corporations (Office for National Statistics)

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 nine other countries, including Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain and the U.S.

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About The Conference Board

The Conference Board is an independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world’s leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.