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Benchmark Revisions - May 2006

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Released: Thursday, January 13, 2005

The Conference Board reports today that the leading index for France was unchanged and the coincident index increased 0.1 percent in November.

  • The leading index was unchanged in November, and there were downward revisions to the previous several months as actual data for the third quarter’s value added to unit labor cost ratio became available. As a result, the growth rate of the leading index has slowed to a 2.0 to 3.0 percent annual rate in recent months, down from 4.0 to 5.0 percent growth in the first half of 2004. The strength among components of the leading index continues to be widespread.
  • Real GDP was essentially flat in the third quarter of 2004 after increasing at a 2.9 percent average rate over the previous four quarters. While the growth rate of the leading index has slowed in recent months, it is still consistent with real GDP increasing at about its trend rate in the near term. As a result, the behavior of the leading index in recent months suggests that economic growth should pick up in the near term from the no growth in the third quarter.

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

Holding steady in November, the leading index now stands at 105.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in October and increased 0.1 percent in September. During the six-month span through November, the leading index increased 1.1 percent, and six of the ten components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 65.0 percent).

Coincident Indicators.Three of the four components of the coincident index increased in November. The positive contributors to the index were retail sales, real imports*, and industrial production. Paid employment* was unchanged in November. (For details, see data availability section and tables.)

With the 0.1 percent increase in November, the coincident index now stands at 116.0 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index was unchanged in October and increased 0.2 percent in September. During the six-month period through November, the coincident index increased 0.6 percent, with three of the four series making a positive contribution (diffusion index, six-month span equals 87.5 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 January 11, 2005. 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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