Press Release Archive
Released: Thursday, September 23, 2004
The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Australia increased 0.1 percent and the coincident index held steady in July.
- The leading index increased again in July, and in addition, there were very large upward revisions to the previous four months as actual national accounts data became available for the second quarter of 2004. As a result, the growth rate of the leading index has picked up to a 6.0-8.0 percent annual rate from 3.0-4.0 percent late last year, and this growth continues to be widespread. The coincident index was unchanged in July, but is still on a slightly rising trend.
- The growth rate of real GDP slowed to a 2.2 percent annual rate in the first half of 2004 from 6.0 percent average growth in the second half of 2003. The very strong growth of the leading index in recent months is signaling that real GDP should start increasing more rapidly again in coming quarters.
Leading Indicators. Three of the eight components in the leading index increased in July. The positive contributors to the index — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — are gross operating surplus*, money supply*, and sales to inventories ratio*. Rural goods exports*, building approvals*, and the (inverted) “medium-term” government bond yield declined, while share prices and yield spread remained unchanged in July.
With the 0.1 percent increase in July, the leading index now stands at 155.7 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.8 percent in June and increased 0.9 percent in May. During the six-month period through July, the leading index increased 3.7 percent, and six of the eight components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 87.5 percent).
Coincident Indicators. Three of the five components in the coincident index increased in July. The increases - in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – occurred in household gross disposable income*, employed persons, and industrial production*. Retail trade and the (inverted) unemployment rate declined in July.
Holding steady in July, the coincident index now stands at 116.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in both June and May. During the six-month period through July, the coincident index increased 0.8 percent, with four of the five components in the series making positive contributions (diffusion index, six-month span equals 90.0 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 September 17, 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.