Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.K. increased 0.4 percent in March, after increasing 0.4 percent in February and 0.2 percent in January. Three of the seven components made positive contributions to the index this month. The index now stands at 102.8 (2004=100).

“The UK LEI increased modestly for the third month in a row, suggesting that the economy will continue to expand slightly over the near term,” says Brian Schaitkin, Economist for Europe with The Conference Board. “Improved business confidence along with an expansion of the Funding for Lending Scheme could help boost business investment. However, weak Euro Area economic performance and continued austerity measures remain difficult headwinds to overcome.”

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the U.K., a measure of current economic activity, was unchanged in March, after increasing 0.2 percent in February and decreasing 0.2 percent in January. The index now stands at 104.1 (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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