Press Release Archive
Released: Tuesday, May 24, 2011
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Australia increased 0.4 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) increased 0.1 percent in March.
- The Conference Board LEI for Australia increased for the sixth consecutive month in March. With this month’s gain, the six-month growth rate of the Leading Economic Index stands at 2.8 percent (a 5.6 percent annual rate) in the period through March 2011, slightly up from 2.3 percent (a 4.7 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. Moreover, the strengths among the leading indicators have become very widespread, as all leading indicators advanced over the past six months.
- The Conference Board CEI for Australia, a measure of current economic activity, also increased in March, following a revised small decline in February. Despite the minor gain this month, the six-month change in the coincident economic index continued to fall – to -0.1 percent (a -0.2 percent annual rate) for the period ending March 2011, down from 1.4 percent (a 2.8 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. At the same time, real GDP grew at a 3.0 percent annual rate in the last quarter of 2010, up from the 0.5 percent increase (annual rate) in the third quarter.
- The Conference Board LEI for Australia continued its upward trend through March, and its six-month change has picked up slightly in recent months. At the same time, the essentially flat trend in The Conference Board CEI for Australia continued, and its six-month growth rate turned slightly negative in March for the first time since late 2009. Taken together, the current behavior of the composite indexes suggests that economic activity will likely be moderate in the near term.
LEADING INDICATORS. Five of the seven components in The Conference Board LEI for Australia increased in March. The positive contributors to the index — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — are the sales to inventories ratio*, building approvals, the yield spread, money supply*, and gross operating surplus*. Share prices and rural goods exports remained unchanged in March.
With the 0.4 percent increase in March, The Conference Board LEI for Australia now stands at 122.5 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.6 percent in February and increased 0.1 percent in January. During the six-month period through March, the leading economic index increased 2.8 percent, and all seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100.0 percent).
COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Two of the four components in The Conference Board CEI for Australia increased in March. The increases occurred in employed persons and household gross disposable income*. Retail trade declined, while industrial production* remained unchanged in March.
With the increase of 0.1 percent in March, The Conference Board CEI for Australia now stands at 117.7 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased in February and remained unchanged in January. During the six-month period through March, the coincident economic index decreased 0.1 percent, with one of the four components in the series making a positive contribution (diffusion index, six-month span equals 25.0 percent).
DATA AVAILABILITY. The data series used to compute The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Australia and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for Australia reported in this release are those available “as of” 10 A.M. ET on May 23, 2011. Some series are estimated as noted below.
NOTES: Series in The Conference Board LEI for Australia that are based on our 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 Conference Board CEI for Australia that are based on our estimates are industrial production and household disposable income. CPI was used to deflate retail trade.
Effective with the February 26, 2009 release, the seasonally adjusted retail trade data replaced the trend estimated series, the publication of which was suspended by the Australia Bureau of Statistics.
THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.