Asia and Pacific

This Quarter in Asia | Asian Business Cycle Indicators (ABCIs)


Knowing the economic climate:
Analysing short-term economic perspectives and risk management in Asia

Get the latest quarterly Asian Business Cycle Indicators


Check out previous ABCIs

Previous Issue (April-July 2013, Vol. 11)

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Previous Issue (10 October 2011, Vol. 6)

Previous Issue (14 June 2011, Vol. 5)

Previous Issue (14 March 2011)

Previous Issue (13 December 2010)

Previous Issue (13 September 2010)


1.  What are the Asian Business Cycle Indicators?

The OECD Development Centre Asian Business Cycle Indicators (ABCIs) is a tool to provide comparable information on the very short-term (i.e. the following quarter) economic climate and potential macroeconomic risks of Asian economies, as close to real time as possible.


The ABCIs is a tool which provides comparable information on the short-term economic climate of the Asian economies. ABCIs are constructed jointly by the OECD Development Centre and OECD Statistics Directorate ( The ABCIs are based on the growth cycle approach like the OECD composite leading indicators (CLIs). 

  • Scope

The purpose of these indicators is to produce comparable information on the short-term economic situation in different countries; provide early warning of potential macroeconomic risks and act as a tool to trace business cycle synchronisation in Asia.

  • Quarterly

The Asian Business Cycles Quarterly will be available on a quarterly basis and the next Quarterly news will be available on 8 July 2013.

This Asian Business Cycles Quarterly has been prepared under the responsibility of the OECD Development Centre and the outlook and risks for the region described in this Quarterly are entirely based on the analysis of the Asia and Pacific Desk of the OECD Development Centre.

2. How to interpret the Asian Business Cycle Indicators?

  • Composite and diffusion indices

The Asian Business Cycle Indicators (ABCIs) identify cycles by using both :

i) composite indicators (i.e. leading and coincident indicators) and

ii) diffusion indices (i.e. leading and coincident indices).


Each provides different information and, as such, they are complementary:
i) the composite index reveals “change” in economic fluctuations and;
ii) the diffusion index gives a broader picture of “the overall economic activity.


For both cases (i.e. leading and coincident), the composite indicators and the diffusion indices use the same set of components. 

  • Leading and coincident indicators

The ABCIs use leading and coincident indicators.

Coincident indicators are selected mainly by economic relevance and statistical fitness to quarterly GDP.

Leading indicators are created based on the coincident indicators and the lead time is in general 5-6 months.

  • Phases of business cycles

Evaluation of the phase of business cycle is done comprehensively by using four sets of information:
i) Leading indicators of both composite and diffusion and
ii) coincident indicators of both composite and diffusion.


More precisely, composite indicators identify four cyclical phases:


 - the composite indicator curve is above the long-term trend (i.e. horizontal line at 100) and decreasing;
 - the composite indicator curve is below the long-term trend (i.e. horizontal line at 100) and decreasing;
 - the composite indicator curve is below the long-term trend (i.e. horizontal line at 100) and increasing;
 - the composite indicator curve is above the long-term trend (i.e. horizontal line at 100) and increasing.


The diffusion index identifies two phases:


 - upwards when the diffusion index crosses the 50% threshold from below
 - downwards when the diffusion index passes the 50% threshold from above


For example:


A) Composite Indicators (4 Phases)




B) Diffusion Indices (2 Phases: Upwards, Downwards)




3. List of variables


The ABCIs use components listed bellow :


Composite Coincident indicators


ASEAN countries


1) Manufacturing production index (Volume)
2) Cargo unloaded at 4 main ports (Ton)
3) Exports (Total) (Value)
4) Retail sales index of household appliances (Value)
5) Electricity consumption (Total) (KWH)



1) Industrial production index (Volume)
2) Electricity consumption (Total) (Kwh)
3) Number of new registrants as unemployed
4) Exports (Total) (Value)
5) Price of standard malaysia rubber


The Philippines

1) Gross value added: Industry (Philippine Peso)
2) Gross value added: Services (Philippine Peso)
3) Diffusion index: Average capacity utilization (%)
4) Exports (Total) (Value)
5) Manufacturing sales (Total)



1) Industrial production index (Total, excluding Rubber processing) (Volume)
2) Retail sales (Total) (Value)
3)  Construction contracts awarded: Private (Singapore dollar)
4) Singapore airlines: Cargo carried (Kg)
5) Number of air passenger departures
6) Number of petitions for bankruptcy



1) Manufacturing production index (Volume)
2) Capacity utilization rate (%)
3) Newly registered capital investment of business registered at Ministry of Commerce (Thai Baht)
4) Manufacturing production index: Electronic products
5) Number of registered applicants as unemployed
6) Imports (Total) (Value)
7) Retail sales index


Other emerging Asia


1) Industrial production index (Total) (Volume)
2) 500 Industrial Enterprises: Diffusion index: Fixed asset investment (%)
3) Gross sales output (Value)
4) Number of Employee: Manufacturing
5) Imports (Total) (Value)
6) Production of electricity (Total) (KWH)
7) Government revenue: Taxes



1) Industrial production index (Total) (Volume)
2) Industrial production index: Food (Volume)
3) Industrial production index: Manufacturing: Production of cotton textiles (Volume)
4) Passenger traffic: Domestic (Person)
5) Cargo handled: Domestic (Ton)

Composite Leading Indicators


ASEAN countries


1) Consumer Survey Index: Consumer confidence Index
2) Bank of Indonesia Policy Rate (1 month) (%)
3) Jakarta Stock Exchange: Composite equity market index
4) Producer Price Index/Wholesale Price Index
5) Exchange rate of Indonesian Rupee against US dollar
6) Industrial Production Index: Manufacturing: Paper and Paper Products (Volume)
7) Visitors arrivals through eleven main gates


1) Consumer price index (% change)
2) Money supply (M1)
3) FTSE Bursa Malaysia: Composite equity market index
4) Cargo discharged (Metric Ton)
5) Industrial production index: Manufacturing: Electrical valves, tubes and other electronic components (Volume)

The Philippines

1) Business Expectation Survey: Business volume index for current quarter
2) Business Expectation Survey: Credit access index for current quarter
3) Consumer price index
4) Discount rate (%)
5) Philippine Stock Exchange: Composite equity market index
6) Exchange rate of Philippine Peso against US dollar
7) Production index of basic metals (Volume)
8) Motor vehicle sales (Total) (Unit)


1) Non-oil domestic exports (Value)
2) Number of companies newly registered
3) Residential property transaction (Singapore dollar)
4) Singapore Exchange Strait Times: Composite equity market index
5) Consumer price index
6) Industrial Production Index: Electronic products and components (Volume)



1) Prime Rate: Minimum Loan Rate (%)
2) Bangkok Port: Container
3) Stock Exchange of Thailand: Composite SET index
4) Motor vehicle sales: Commercial vehicles (unit)
5) Business expectation index (%)
6) Domestic cement sales (Ton)


Other emerging Asia


1) 5000 Industrial Enterprises: Diffusion index: Overseas order level (%)
2) Monetary aggregate (M2)
3) Shanghai Stock Exchange: Turnover value
4) Industrial production of manufactured crude steel (Ton)
5) Industrial production of chemical fertilizer (Ton)
6) Production of motor vehicles (Unit)
7) Production of buildings: floor space of completed buildings (Square meter)



1) Motor vehicle sales: Passenger cars (Unit)
2) Call money rate: Major commercial Bank: Lendings (%)
3) Monetary aggregate (M1)
4) Bombay Stock Exchange: Composite stock price index (Dollex-200)
5) Industrial Production Index: Manufacturing: Production of non-metallic mineral products (Volume)
6) Industrial production index: Production of consumer goods: Durables (Volume)


For more detailed information, please contact Kensuke TANAKA (


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