Press Release Archive
Released: Monday, January 26, 2004
The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Australia decreased 0.1 percent, and the coincident index increased 0.2 percent in November.
- The leading index declined slightly again in November (October’s originally reported small increase was revised down to a small decline). However, these declines are not large enough to reverse the slight upward trend that has been underway since the beginning of 2003.
- The coincident index increased again in November, continuing the upward trend from its most recent low in March 2003. In addition, real GDP growth picked up to almost a 5.0 percent annual rate in the third quarter, keeping the average growth rate at about 2.5 percent over the past year.
- Despite the recent declines, the leading index has increased at a 0.8 percent annual rate since its most recent low in February 2003. This is signaling a continuation of moderate economic growth rather than a major change in the direction of the economy.
Leading Indicators.Two of the eight components in the leading index increased in November. The positive contributors to the index — in order from the larger positive contributor to the smaller — are money supply* andgross operating surplus*. Four of the eight components in the leading index decreased in November. The negative contributors to the index — in order from the largest negative contributor to the smallest — are “medium-term” government bond yield, share prices, building approvals*, and rural goods exports*. Yield spread and the (inverted) sales to inventories ratio* remained unchanged in November.
With the 0.1 percent decrease in November, the leading index now stands at 148.7 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in October and increased 0.5 percent in September. During the six-month span through November, the leading index increased 0.3 percent, and six of the eight components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75 percent).
Coincident Indicators. Four of the five components in the coincident index increased in November. The increases - in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – occurred in retail trade*, employed persons, household gross disposable income*, and industrial production*. The (inverted) unemployment rate remained unchanged in November.
With the 0.2 percent increase in November, the coincident index now stands at 115.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.4 percent in October and increased 0.1 percent in September. During the six-month period through November, the coincident index increased 1.2 percent, with all five components in the series making positive contributions (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100.0 percent).
Data Availability. The data series used by The Conference Board to compute the two composite indexes reported in the tables in this release are those available “as of” 5 P.M. ET on January 23, 2004. Some series are estimated as noted below.
NOTES: Series in the leading index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are sales to inventory ratio and gross operating surplus for private non-financial corporations, the implicit price index used to deflate rural goods exports and building approvals, and the CPI used to deflate money supply M3. Series in the coincident index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are industrial production and household disposable income. CPI was used to deflate retail trade.
Due to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s discontinuation of the 3-month Treasury Bill (for details see “For the Record” in the June 2002 RBA bulletin), The Conference Board will use the Bank Accepted Bill 90 Days to calculate the yield spread from now on.
THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.