Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index®(LEI) for the U.K. decreased 0.5 percent in December, after declines of 0.6 percent in November and 0.3 percent in October. Three of the seven components made positive contributions to the index this month. The index stands at 102.0 (2004=100).

Said Jean-Claude Manini, The Conference Board Senior Economist for Europe: “The LEI for the United Kingdom fell for a fifth consecutive month in December as a mild improvement in financial indicators failed to offset the further decline of business and consumer confidence. Confidence picked up in January, however, so there may be a bottoming out in the leading indicators for the U.K., as we have seen in the Euro Area LEI (which somewhat improved in December). Moreover with current conditions stabilizing, as reflected in the coincident index, the contraction of economic activity in the United Kingdom has a fair chance to be short and shallow.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.K., a measure of current economic activity, increased 0.1 percent in December, after remaining unchanged in both November and October. All four components made positive contributions to the index this month. The index stands at 102.4 (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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