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Benchmark Revisions - May 2006

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Released: Thursday, October 16, 2003

The Conference Board reports today that both the leading and the coincident indexes for France decreased 0.1 percent in August.

  • The leading index declined slightly in August, and there were small downward revisions to the increases reported for several previous months. As a result, the leading index has been fluctuating around a flat trend since early this year following a significant decline in the second half of 2002.
  • The coincident index, a measure of current economic activity, fell slightly in July but has been essentially flat in recent months following a slight decline earlier in the year.
  • As now revised, real GDP declined at a 1.3 percent annual rate in the second quarter and has declined at a 0.6 percent average rate over the last three quarters. This economic weakness is consistent with last year’s significant and persistent decline in the leading index. The improvement in the leading index from last year’s decline to a flat trend since early this year suggests less economic weakness ahead.

Leading Indicators.

With the increase of 0.3 percent in July, the leading index now stands at 101.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.2 percent in June and increased 0.1 percent in May. During the six-month span through July, the leading index increased 0.1 percent, and seven of the ten components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 70 percent).

With the decrease of 0.1 percent in August, the leading index now stands at 101.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in July and decreased 0.2 percent in June. During the six-month span through August, the leading index decreased 0.2 percent, and three of the ten components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 30 percent).

Coincident Indicators. One of the components of the coincident index increased in August. The positive contributor to the index is real imports*. Paid employment* and retail sales* stayed unchanged, while industrial production declined in August.

With the decrease of 0.1 percent in August, the coincident index now stands at 114.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in July and remained unchanged in June. During the six-month period through August, the coincident index decreased 0.3 percent, with only one of the four series making a positive contribution (diffusion index, six-month span equals 37.5 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 October 14, 2003. 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 retail sales, 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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