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Benchmark Revisions - January 2008

Press Release Archive

Released: Monday, January 23, 2006

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Australia increased 0.3 percent and the coincident index increased 0.2 percent in November.

  • The leading index increased in November, offsetting the decrease in October. With November's gain, the leading index is growing at a 1.0 - 2.0 percent annual rate, down from the 4.0-5.0 percent rate reached through the third quarter of 2005. In addition, the strengths and weaknesses among the leading indicators have remained balanced in recent months.
  • The coincident index increased slightly in November, and it has been essentially flat since June. At the same time, real GDP slowed to a 0.6 percent annual rate in the third quarter of 2005, down from the 4.1 percent average rate in the first half of the year. The leading index grew steadily through mid 2005, but it has been fluctuating around an essentially flat trend in the second half of the year. The behavior in the leading index in recent months suggests that the economy is likely to continue growing moderately in the near term.

Leading Indicators. Five of the eight components in the leading index increased in November. The positive contributors to the index — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — are share prices, building approvals*, gross operating surplus*, the (inverted) “medium-term” government bond yield, and yield spread. Rural goods exports* and money supply* declined, while the sales to inventories ratio* remained unchanged in November.

With the 0.3 percent increase in November, the leading index now stands at 158.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.3 percent in October and increased 0.1 percent in September. During the six-month period through November, the leading index increased 0.6 percent, and four of the eight components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 56.3 percent).

Coincident Indicators.All five components in the coincident index increased in November. The increases - in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest – occurred in employed persons, the (inverted) unemployment rate, household gross disposable income*, retail trade, and industrial production*.

With the increase of 0.2 percent in November, the coincident index now stands at 118.7 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index was unchanged in October and decreased 0.2 percent in September. During the six-month period through November, the coincident index increased 0.5 percent, with three of the five components in the series making positive contributions (diffusion index, six-month span equals 70.0 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 20, 2006. 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.


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