Australia's Leading Index Gains A Half Point

The Conference Board's leading economic index for Australia rose five-tenths of a percentage point in June, the most recent month for which data are available. The index, which now stands at 155.7 (1990=100), also increased in April and May.

Adjusted for inflation, Australia's GDP grew at an annual rate of 2.8% during the first quarter of this year, nearly twice its 2004 growth rate of 1.5%. "The current behavior of the leading index suggests that the economy should continue expanding in the near term," says the Conference Board, a New York-based business research group.

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