Business Cycle Indicators
The Conference Board’s
Business Cycle Indicators Program
As part of a long-term strategic plan to
redeploy its resources and improve the U.S.
national accounts, the Bureau of Economic
Analysis of the U.S. Department of
Commerce selected The Conference Board in
1995 to be the new custodian of the official
composite leading, coincident, and lagging
indexes. The first independent release of the
composite leading index by The Conference
Board was on January 17, 1996.
The official U.S. composite indexes are an
important component of The Conference
Board’s Business Cycle Indicators program,
which is devoted to the timely release of
cyclical indicator information and is an
important tool for monitoring the business
cycle. The Board’s work in this regard also
includes the Business Cycle Indicators
database, which includes the composite
indexes as well as more than 250 other
economic series and a monthly publication,
Business Cycle Indicators. (The first issue of
Business Cycle Indicators was published in
This publication, Business Cycle Indicators
Handbook, describes in detail the series in
the BCI report and database, and includes
articles discussing the value and use of the
cyclical indicator approach. Also included
are articles describing the composite index
methodology and major revisions to the
leading index, unveiled by The Conference
Board in December 1996, and January 2001.
The news release for “Leading Economic
Indicators and Related Composite Indexes”
carries the composite leading, coincident,
and lagging indexes, and is available by fax or
mail. This release is also available at no charge
to the public on www.tcb-indicators.org.
Annual subscriptions to Business Cycle
Indicators, published monthly, include
tables and charts for the more than 250
economic series described in this Handbook.
In addition, the entire BCI database is
available in electronic spreadsheet form
on the Internet at www.tcb-indicators.org.
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