Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index ® (LEI) for the U.K. increased 0.4 percent in April, after increasing 0.4 percent in March and increasing 0.5 percent in February. Five of the seven components made positive contributions to the index in April. The index now stands at 103.8 (2004=100).

Said Jean-Claude Manini, The Conference Board Senior Economist for Europe: “The LEI for the United Kingdom remained on its rising trend in April, signaling moderate growth in economic activity in the near term. The leading indicators continue to show a divide between optimistic firms and pessimistic consumers in spite of a recent pickup in retail sales. The increased reliance on exports and investments should contribute to a rebalancing of the economy in the medium term. But this rebalancing may become a downside risk in the short term as the slowdown in the global manufacturing cycle may add to fiscal retrenchment.”

The Conference Board LEI for the U.K. increased in April, remaining on a rising trend which began in the second quarter of 2009. In addition, its six-month growth rate has picked up somewhat this year, after falling sharply in 2010. At the same time, The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.K., a measure of current economic activity, remained unchanged in April, after increasing 0.1 percent in March and declining 0.1 percent in February. The index now stands at 102.8 (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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