Press Release Archive
Released: Thursday, June 24, 2004
The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Australia increased 0.1 percent and the coincident index increased 0.2 percent in April.
- The leading index increased slightly in April, and there were downward revisions to the previous months as actual data became available. As a result, the growth rate of the leading index has slowed to about a 0.6 percent annual rate so far this year, down from a 2.0 to 4.0 percent range in the second half of 2003. Despite the moderating trend in the leading index, the strength among its components has continued to be widespread. The coincident index also increased slightly in April, keeping it on a slight upward trend.
- As signaled by the pick up in the growth rate of the leading index in 2003, real GDP increased at an average of 3.9 percent annual rate over the last three quarters. The continued but moderating growth in the leading index in recent months suggests that economic growth will continue at or slightly below this average rate in the near term.
Leading Indicators.Five of the eight components in the leading index increased in April. The positive contributors to the index — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — are rural goods exports*, building approvals*, money supply*, gross operating surplus*, and yield spread. The (inverted) “medium-term” government bond yield, sales to inventories ratio*, and share prices declined in April.
With the 0.1 percent increase in April, the leading index now stands at 151.1 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in March and increased 0.4 percent in February. During the six-month period through April, the leading index increased 0.9 percent, and four of the eight components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 56.3 percent).
Coincident Indicators. Three of the five components in the coincident index increased in April. The increases - in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – occurred in employed persons, household gross disposable income*, and industrial production*. The (inverted) unemployment rate remained unchanged, and retail trade declined in April.
With the 0.2 percent increase in April, the coincident index now stands at 116.1 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in March and decreased 0.1 percent in February. During the six-month period through April, the coincident index increased 0.7 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 June 24, 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.
THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.