Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.K. declined 0.4 percent in October, after increases of 0.1 percent in both September and August. Three of the seven components made positive contributions to the index this month. The index now stands at 102.0 (2004=100).

“The LEI for the U.K. declined in October for the first time in four months, led by continued weakness in business confidence. The six-month growth rate of the index has now fallen further into negative territory and it’s becoming increasingly uncertain whether an economic recovery will continue, even at a slow pace, in the near term,” says Brian Schaitkin, Economist for Europe with The Conference Board. “Despite sluggish current conditions, recent gains in household consumption and consumer confidence in November are providing a small ray of hope for the holiday season.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.K., a measure of current economic activity, was unchanged in October, after decreasing 0.1 percent in September and remaining unchanged in August. The index now stands at 103.6 (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.

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About The Conference Board

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