Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Friday, April 8, 2011

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.K. increased 0.6 percent in February, after increasing 0.4 percent in January and increasing 0.6 percent in December. Five of the seven components made positive contributions to the index in December. The index now stands at 103.5 (2004=100).

Said Jean-Claude Manini, The Conference Board Senior Economist for Europe: “The LEI for the United Kingdom increased in February pointing to a moderately positive outlook. Disposable income is pressured on all fronts, re-enforcing the flat trend of the coincident economic index seen since late last year.  The contraction of GDP registered during the last quarter of 2010 and the drop in industrial production in February are not likely to persist as the global economy gains momentum. However, austerity measures and the increased likelihood of rate hikes will progressively weigh on domestic consumption through the end of 2011.”

The Conference Board LEI for the UK has been on a rising trend since the second quarter of 2009, and its six-month growth rate has picked up slightly in recent months. At the same time, The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.K., a measure of current economic activity, decreased 0.1 percent in February, after increasing 0.2 percent in January and remaining unchanged in December. 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.

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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