Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index®(LEI) for the U.K. increased 0.7 percent in December, after remaining unchanged in November and increasing 0.4 percent in October. Six of the seven components made positive contributions to the index in December. The index now stands at 102.9 (2004=100).

Said Jean-Claude Manini, The Conference Board Senior Economist for Europe: “December’s sharp pick up in the LEI for the United Kingdom translates into a moderate growth outlook in the first half of 2011, so long as economic activity is not further impacted by weather related slowdowns. The improvement in order book volume is further evidence of the expansion taking hold. Still, the phasing in of budget cuts in 2011 alongside the continuing erosion of consumer confidence and the weakness in the recent CEI and GDP figures are reminders of the persisting downside risks.”

The Conference Board LEI for the U.K. resumed increasing in December, and is now 14.1 percent above its most recent trough in March 2009. At the same time, The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.K., a measure of current economic activity, remained unchanged in December, after increasing 0.1 percent in November and remaining unchanged in October. 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

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