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Conference Board to Publish Leading China Indicator

The Conference Board will release a monthly leading economic index for China from May 17 that will signal turning points in the world’s fastest-growing major economy, the New York-based research group said.

The measure will be based on data and surveys from the People’s Bank of China and the statistics bureau, Bill Adams, the group’s Beijing-based resident economist, said in a phone interview today. It will be comparable with indexes published by the group for economies including the U.S. and Japan, he said.

The tool may help analysts get a better fix on the economy that’s leading the global recovery and where analysts sometimes criticize government data as patchy. Developed over four years, the index looks six months ahead and would have signaled the slowdown of 2008 and the recession of the late 1980s, Adams said.

“We’re using data that has been available to the public before,” the economist said. “The real contribution is that we’re presenting the data in a way that captures more information about the overall trend.”

The index will be based on information from the central bank and the statistics bureau relating to loans, raw-material supplies, export orders, floor-space starts, consumer expectations, and supplier deliveries.

The Conference Board also publishes leading indexes for the euro area, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Australia, South Korea and Mexico.

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