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Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index®(LEI) for the U.K. increased 0.6 percent in May, after increasing 0.4 percent in April and increasing 0.4 percent in March. Four of the seven components made positive contributions to the index in May. The index now stands at 104.2 (2004=100).

Said Jean-Claude Manini, The Conference Board Senior Economist for Europe: “Despite the slight reacceleration of the LEI for the United Kingdom in May, the balance of the strengths and weaknesses among the leading indicators is even. Consumer confidence remains weak and volatile while firms are feeling the pinch of the ongoing slowdown of the global economy. And, current economic conditions, as measured by the coincident economic index, remain flat through May. The leading indicators suggest subdued growth in the near term with persisting downside risks as long as exports and capital expenditures do not gather speed.”

The Conference Board LEI for the U.K. continued to increase in May, remaining on a rising trend which began in the second quarter of 2009. In addition, its six-month growth rate has picked up 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 May for a third consecutive month. The index now stands at 102.5 (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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