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Released: Thursday, August 12, 2004

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

  • The leading index increased slightly in June, but this just offsets a small decline in May. The growth rate of the leading index peaked in the second half of last year (a 4.0 to 5.0 percent annual rate), and the latest information continues to indicate that the growth rate of the leading index has slowed since then (into the range of 1.5 to 2.5 percent).
  • The coincident index increased again in June and it is still on a slightly rising trend. Correspondingly, real GDP has increased at a 2.7 percent average annual rate over the last three quarters for which data are available (third quarter of 2003 through the first quarter of 2004). The leading index suggests that the economy should continue growing at or slightly below this average rate in the near term.

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

With the 0.1 percent increase in June, the leading index now stands at 103.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in May and increased 0.2 percent in April. During the six-month span through June, the leading index increased 0.9 percent, and eight of the ten components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 80.0 percent).

Coincident Indicators.Three of the four components of the coincident index increased in June. The positive contributors to the index were retail sales, real imports*, and paid employment*. Industrial production held steady in June. (For details, see data availability section and tables.)

With the 0.2 percent increase in June, the coincident index now stands at 115.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent and was unchanged in April. During the six-month period through June, the coincident index increased 0.4 percent, with all four series making a positive contribution (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100.0 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 August 11, 2004. 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 the deflator of 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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