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Released: Thursday, November 11, 2004

The Conference Board reports today that the leading index for France increased 0.1 percent, while the coincident index decreased 0.1 percent in September.

  • The leading index increased slightly again in September, and has been increasing steadily since September 2003. The strength in the leading index continues to be relatively widespread, although the growth rate has slowed slightly to a 3.0-4.0 percent annual rate from 4.0-5.0 percent earlier this year.
  • Real GDP growth has been fluctuating around a 3.0 percent average annual rate over the past year, including 2.8% growth in the second quarter of this year. The recent behavior of the leading index suggests that this rate of economic growth should persist in the near term.

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

With the 0.1 percent increase in September, the leading index now stands at 105.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in August and increased 0.3 percent in July. During the six-month span through September, the leading index increased 1.5 percent, and eight of the ten components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 80.0 percent).

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

With the 0.1 percent decline in September, the coincident index now stands at 115.4 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index fell 0.1 percent in August and was unchanged in July. During the six-month period through September, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent, with two of the four series making a positive contribution (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 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 November 10, 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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