Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Tuesday, January 15, 2013


This month's release incorporates annual benchmark revisions to the composite economic indexes. These regular benchmark revisions bring the indexes up-to-date with revisions in the source data, but do not change the cyclical properties of the indexes. The indexes are updated throughout the year, but only for the previous six months. Data revisions that fall outside of the moving six-month window are incorporated when the benchmark revision is made and the entire histories of the indexes are recomputed. As a result, the revised indexes and their month-over-month changes will no longer be directly comparable to those issued prior to the benchmark revision.

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The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.K. increased 0.2 percent, after a decrease of 0.3 percent in October and an increase of 0.4 percent in September. Four of the seven components made positive contributions to the index this month. The index now stands at 103.4 (2004=100).

“The UK LEI increased in November and with the economic outlook improving, it is becoming more likely that output will expand during the first half of 2013,” says Brian Schaitkin, Economist for Europe with The Conference Board. “Productivity and corporate profits are the main drivers behind the recent improvement in the LEI. However, weakness in both consumer and business confidence could delay improvement in domestic demand despite strengthening business performance measures.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.K., a measure of current economic activity, increased 0.1 percent in November, after decreasing 0.1 percent in October and remaining unchanged in September. The index now stands at 103.9 (2004 = 100).

* Starting with the January 2013 release, The Conference Board is using the level of the interest rate spread, rather than its monthly change, to calculate the one and six-month diffusion indexes of The Conference Board LEI for UK.

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

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.