Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Wednesday, January 19, 2011

This month's release incorporates annual benchmark revisions to the composite economic indexes, which bring them up-to-date with revisions in the source data. These revisions do not change the cyclical properties of the indexes. The indexes are updated throughout the year, but only for the previous six months. Data revisions that fall outside of the moving six-month window are not incorporated until the benchmark revision is made and the entire histories of the indexes are recomputed. As a result, the revised indexes, in levels and month-on-month changes, will not be directly comparable to those issued prior to the benchmark revision.

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.K. remained unchanged in November, following gains of 0.4 percent in October and 0.4 percent in September. Four of the seven components made positive contributions to the index in November. The index now stands at 102.2 (2004=100).

Said Jean-Claude Manini, The Conference Board Senior Economist for Europe: “The flat reading for the LEI for the United Kingdom suggests a gradual slowdown in economic activity in the near term. Some of the weaknesses in the leading indicators appear to be temporary. But, the continuing erosion of consumer confidence is a reminder of the persisting downside risks surrounding the deficit reduction plans for 2011.”

The Conference Board LEI for the UK remained unchanged in November after increasing for more than a year and a half. At the same time, its six-month growth rate has been moderating over the past year. The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.K., a measure of current economic activity, increased by 0.1 percent in November, after remaining unchanged in October and decreasing 0.1 percent in September. The index now stands at 102.7 (2004 = 100).

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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.


To view The Conference Board calendar of 2011 indicator releases:


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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.


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