HC Deb 23 January 1981 vol 997 c256W
Mr. Cant

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the index of longer-leading indicators is yet pointing to an upturn in economic activity.

Sir Geoffrey Howe

Yes. The longer leading index has been rising—though with a fluctuation last spring—from a turning point in November 1979. On average over the last five cycles, turning points in this index have occurred 15 months before the corresponding turning points in economic activity. If the interval on this occasion conforms with this average relationship, the trough of the present recession will be reached in the spring of this year. However, the intervals in the past have varied around this average length: the longest has been 23 months. An interval as long as this would place the upturn much later in the year.