LEI for Australia Inched Up in March
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LEI for Australia Inched Up in March

Latest Press Release

Updated : 2024-05-15

About the Leading Economic Index and the Coincident Economic Index:

The Leading Economic Index provides an early indication of significant turning points in the business cycle and where the economy is heading in the near term. The Coincident Economic Index provides an indication of the current state of the economy. Additional details are below.


The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Australia increased by 0.1 percent in March 2024 to 116.5 (2016=100), following another 0.1 percent increase in February (according to revised data). Overall, the LEI grew by 1.3 percent from September 2023 to March 2024, after contracting by 2.2 percent over the previous six months.

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for Australia grew by 0.3 percent in March 2024 at 115.3 (2016=100), after being unchanged in February. The CEI grew by 0.6 percent from September 2023 to March 2024, after increasing by 0.5 percent over the previous six months.


“The LEI for Australia increased in March for the 5th consecutive month,” said Ian Hu, Economic Research Associate at The Conference Board. “Large positive contributions from building approvals and share prices, paired with smaller positive contributions from the sales to inventory ratio and the gross operating surplus outweighed negative contributions from the money supply and the yield spread. Moreover, on a six-month basis, the growth rate of the LEI has gained momentum, and its year-on-year growth rate has become significantly less negative. This suggests an easing of economic headwinds in the near term. The Conference Board currently forecasts Australia’s real GDP growth to accelerate somewhat in the first half of 2024 and reach 1.4 percent for the whole year.”


The Australia LEI inched up in March


Non-financial components and share prices fueled the increase of the LEI


The six-month growth rate of the Australia LEI pulled further into positive territory in March

Note: The chart illustrates the so-called 3D’s rule which is a reliable rule of thumb to interpret the duration, depth, and diffusion – the 3D’s – of a downward movement in the LEI. Duration refers to how long-lasting a decline in the index is, and depth denotes how large the decline is. Duration and depth are measured by the rate of change of the index over the last six months. Diffusion is a measure of how widespread the decline is (i.e., the diffusion index of the LEI ranges from 0 to 100 and numbers below 50 indicate most of the components are weakening). The 3D’s rule provides signals of impending recessions 1) when the diffusion index falls below the threshold of 50 (denoted by the black dotted line in the chart), and simultaneously 2) when the decline in the index over the most recent six months falls below the threshold of -6.9 percent. The red dotted line is drawn at the threshold value (measured by the median, -6.9 percent) on the months when both criteria are met simultaneously. Thus, the red dots signal a recession.


About The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for Australia

The composite economic indexes are the key elements in an analytic system designed to signal peaks and troughs in the business cycle. The indexes are constructed to summarize and reveal common turning points in the economy in a clearer and more convincing manner than any individual component. The CEI is highly correlated with real GDP. The LEI is a predictive variable that anticipates (or “leads”) turning points in the business cycle by approximately 7 months. Shaded areas denote recession periods or economic contractions. The dates above the shaded areas show the chronology of peaks and troughs in the business cycle.


The seven components of The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® for Australia include: Yield Spread, Share Prices, M3 Money Supply, Building Approvals, Rural Goods Exports, Sales to Inventories Ratio, and Gross Operating Surplus.


To access data, please visit: https://data-central.conference-board.org/


About The Conference Board

The Conference Board is the member-driven think tank that delivers Trusted Insights for What’s Ahead™. Founded in 1916, we are a non-partisan, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. ConferenceBoard.org


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