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Released: Thursday, October 14, 2004

The Conference Board reports today that the leading index for France increased 0.3 percent and the coincident index was unchanged in August.

  • The leading index increased again in August for the sixth consecutive month, there were upward revisions to several previous months, and the strength continues to be widespread. As a result, the growth rate of the leading index has remained relatively steady in recent months at about a 4.0 percent annual rate.
  • The coincident index was unchanged in August, but it is still on a steady upward trend. Correspondingly, real GDP growth has been fluctuating around a 3.0 percent average annual rate over the past year (including 2.8 percent in the second quarter of 2004). The recent behavior of the leading index suggests that the economy should continue growing at about the same average rate in the near term.

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

With the 0.3 percent increase in August, the leading index now stands at 105.3 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in July and increased 0.3 percent in June. During the six-month span through August, the leading index increased 2.1 percent, and seven of the ten components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 70.0 percent).

Coincident Indicators.Two of the four components of the coincident index increased in August. The positive contributors to the index were retail sales and real imports*. Paid employment* declined while industrial production held steady in August. (For details, see data availability section and tables.)

Holding steady in August, the coincident index now stands at 115.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in July and increased 0.3 percent in June. During the six-month period through August, the coincident index increased 0.4 percent, with three of the four series making a positive contribution (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 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 October 13, 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.

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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StraightTalk®

Straight Talk November 2013

StraightTalk® Global Economic Outlook 2014: Time to realize the opportunities for growth

From the Chief Economist

U.S. growth continues at moderate pace with momentum beginning to lose some steam

GDP is projected to grow by 2.0 percent in 2014 with the second half of this year revised lower from an average of a 2.8 percent pace to about 2.5 percent pace.

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