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UK’s CB Leading Economic Index Again Moves Higher

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UK’s CB Leading Economic Index Again Moves Higher

The UK’s Conference Board has re-confirmed the strength of the British economic recovery this morning with the publication of the April version of the CB Leading Economic Index, this is now showing an increase of 0.5% compared to 0.3% in March and also 0.3% in February.

The Conference Board has been compiling it’s Leading Economic Index since 1970 and it has had some very good success at predicting turning points in the British economy, particularly business cycles. As the UK enjoys the early stages of economic recovery, this Index takes on a heightened level of significance as a guide to the stability of the new economic growth.

The CB doesn’t directly gather data for the compilation of this Index, rather it relies on statistics produced by other agencies on which it performs a proprietary calculation in order to derive the monthly index figure. The data considered for the UK’s version of the Index consist of Order Book Volume and the Volume of Expected Output, both from the Confederation of British Industry, the FTSE All Share Index is included as is the country’s Yield Spread. Additional input comes from the EU’s Consumer Confidence Indicator and two metrics from the Office for National Statistics which are the Whole Economy Productivity Figure and the Total Gross Operating Surplus of Corporations figure.

The Conference Boards senior economist, Bert Colijn, has stated that the current reading has seen expansion in six of the above seven economic indicators. However he also went on to note that “despite April’s increase in the LEI for the UK, the rise in the index has moderated over the past several months, suggesting that a further acceleration of GDP growth is unlikely in the near term”. It is worth noting that Colijn also added that “the ongoing improvements in the labor market are helping to boost consumer confidence, which should allow the UK economy to continue to outperform its Euro Area counterparts in the months ahead”.

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