Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index®(LEI) for the U.K. increased 0.4 percent in January, after increasing 0.6 percent in December and remaining unchanged in November. Five of the seven components made positive contributions to the index in December. The index now stands at 103.0 (2004=100).

Said Jean-Claude Manini, The Conference Board Senior Economist for Europe: “January’s increase in the U.K. LEI, along with the widespread gains in the coincident indicators, suggests a moderately positive outlook. The contraction of GDP registered during the last quarter of 2010 is likely to be reversed. Nonetheless, austerity measures and the increased likelihood of rate hikes will progressively weigh on domestic consumption, leaving net exports - and potentially capital expenditures – as the main sources of growth during 2011.”

The Conference Board LEI for the UK has been on a rising trend since the second quarter of 2009, but its growth has been moderating in recent months. At the same time, The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.K., a measure of current economic activity, increased 0.2 percent in January, after remaining unchanged in December and increasing 0.2 percent in November. The index now stands at 102.9 (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.

To view The Conference Board calendar of 2011 indicator releases:

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