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Released: Thursday, September 12, 2002

The Conference Board reports today that the leading index for France decreased 0.2 percent, and the coincident index increased 0.1 percent in July.

  • The Conference Board reports today that the leading index continued to decline in July, adding more uncertainties to the economic rebound in France. The stock market marked its fourth consecutive monthly decline. In July it had the largest one-month drop since September 2001. A slumping consumer confidence index and declining industrial new orders drove the leading index lower in July.
  • The slow growth in the coincident index continued in July. Despite this weakness, strength in its components continue to be widespread, as shown by the six-month diffusion index staying at 100 percent.

Leading Indicators. Six of the ten components of the leading index increased in July. The positive contributors to the index —in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest— are inverted new unemployment claims, inverted bond yields, change in stocks*, building permits (residential), the ratio of the deflator of manufacturing value added to unit labor cost for manufacturing*, and personal consumption of manufacturing goods. Four of the ten components of the leading index decreased in July. The negative contributors to the index —in order from the largest negative contributor to the smallest—are the stock price index, consumer confidence index (opinion balance), industrial new orders, and yield spread. (For details, see data availability section and tables.)

With the decrease of 0.2 percent in July, the leading index now stands at 103.1 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.2 percent in June and increased 0.3 percent in May. During the six-month span through July, the leading index decreased 0.1 percent, and five of the ten components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 55 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Two of the four components of the coincident index increased in July. The positive contributors to the index —in order from the larger positive contributor to the smaller—are paid employment* and real imports*. Industrial production* held steady, while retail sales decreased in July. (For details, see data availability section and tables.)

With the increase of 0.1 percent in July, the coincident index now stands at 114.7 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in June and held steady in May. During the six-month period through July, the coincident index increased 0.6 percent, with all four series making positive contributions (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100 percent).

Data Availability. The data series used by The Conference Board to compute the two composite indexes reported in the tables in this release are those available "as of" 10 A.M. ET on September 10, 2002. Some series are estimated as noted below.

*NOTES: Series in the leading index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are personal consumption of manufacturing goods, change in stocks and ratio deflator of manufacturing value added to unit labor cost in manufacturing. Series in the coincident index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are industrial production, real imports and paid employment.

THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.

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