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Economy in Brief

The OECD'S Leading Composite Indicators
by Louise Curley   November 8, 2010

The OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) published September leading composite indicators for its member countries and six non member transitions countries today. In the attached charts we show the indicators for some representative countries of (1) Western Europe, (2) Eastern Europe, (3) The BRIC Countries--Brazil, Russia, India and China and (4) the U. S., Japan and Australia.

The OECD system of composite leading indicators is designed to give early signals of turning points in economic activity. Among those countries continuing to show increases in their leading indicators in September are the U. S., Japan, Germany, Russia, Hungary and the Czech Republic. The continued rise in the leading indicators of these countries suggest that a turning point in their economic activity is not yet in the cards. They are likely to continue to experience expansion. Although the indicator for the Czech Republic is below its long term average of 100, it has been rising steadily, showing continued improvement.

Warning signs are up for those countries showing declines in their composite leading indicators--Italy, the U. K., France, Poland, Slovakia, China, India, Brazil and Australia. These are the countries to watch over the coming months to see whether they are headed for a slowdown or an actual downturn.

OECD LEADING INDICATORS
Sept 10 Aug 10 Jul 10 Jun 10 May 10 Apr 10 Mar 10 Feb 10
Germany 105.81 105.75 105.66 105.47 105.10 104.53 103.73 102.79
Italy 102.98 103.20 103.40 103.55 103.68 103.92 104.12 104.27
U.K. 102.37 102.47 102.66 102.96 103.31 103.61 103.78 103.79
France 101.86 101.95 102.13 102.45 102.89 103.41 103.88 104.24
Poland 102.67 102.76 102.68 102.40 102.00 101.48 100.84 100.06
Hungary 103.52 103.15 102.70 102.37 102.09 101.81 101.53 101.21
Czech Republic 99.41 99.35 99.27 99.08 98.70 98.18 97.59 96.97
Slovakia 102.41 103.57 105.08 106.07 106.85 107.16 106.92 106.17
China 99.26 100.01 100.93 102.04 103.01 103.64 104.02 104.20
India 100.33 100.55 100.72 100.88 101.05 101.25 101.42 101.56
Brazil 99.56 98.96 99.50 100.08 100.55 100.80 100.85 100.72
Russia 104.83 104.24 103.54 102.81 102.10 101.38 100.67 100.03
Japan 103.20 103.02 102.82 102.64 102.46 102.26 101.95 101.45
Australia 101.94 102.28 102.60 102.53 102.39 102.14 101.76 101.23
U. S. 102.41 102.28 102.25 102.33 102.42 102.35 102.05 101.51
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