Down Under The Leading Economic Index Is Up

The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators for Australia increased half a percentage point in April, the most recent month for which the New York-based business research group has data. The index stands at 155.2 (1990=100).

Australia's GDP, adjusted for inflation, grew at an annual rate of 2.8% in the first quarter of this year, better than its overall 1.5% gain last year, but less than its 4.5% growth in 2003.

"The current behavior of the leading index suggests that the economy will continue to grow in the near term, more rapidly than in 2004 but less rapidly than in [the first quarter of 2005]," says the Conference Board.

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