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Released: Thursday, December 12, 2002

The Conference Board reports today that the leading index for France remained unchanged, and the coincident index increased 0.1 percent in October.

  • After four consecutive monthly declines, the leading index held steady in October. The financial sector continued to be sluggish, with the stock price index making the seventh consecutive monthly decline. Although the consumer confidence index made some improvement, the weakness in the housing sector and industrial new orders continued in October.
  • The coincident index gained moderately in October. Weakness in the coincident indicators seems to be more widespread, as shown by the six-month diffusion index, which dropped well below 50 percent.

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

Holding steady in October, the leading index now stands at 102.3 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.3 percent in September and decreased 0.2 percent in August. During the six-month span through October, the leading index decreased 0.9 percent, and five of the ten components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50 percent).

Coincident Indicators. Three of the four components of the coincident index increased in October. The positive contributors to the index —in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest—are paid employment*, real imports* and industrial production*. Retail sales* remained unchanged. (For details, see data availability section and tables.)

With the increase of 0.1 percent in October, the coincident index now stands at 114.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in September and increased 0.2 percent in August. During the six-month period through October, the coincident index increased 0.3 percent, with only one of the four series making positive contributions (diffusion index, six-month span equals 25 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 December 10, 2002. Some series are estimated as noted below.

*Notes: Series in the leading index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are 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.

For further information, please visit our research associate in France at www.coe-rexecode.fr/index.jsv

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

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