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Benchmark Revisions - May 2006

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Released: Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Conference Board reports today that the leading index for France remained unchanged and the coincident index remained unchanged in November.

  • The leading index remained unchanged in November with industrial new orders and new unemployment insurance claims (inverted) being the strongest positive contributors, and building permits and stock prices being the largest negative contributors to the index. The six-month growth rate of the leading index stands at 1.2 percent during the six-month span through November (about a 2.5 percent annual growth rate), well above the slightly negative growth rate at the beginning of 2007. In addition, the strengths among the leading indicators have been slightly stronger than weaknesses throughout the last six months.
  • The coincident index remained unchanged in November, with employment* and wages and salaries* being the only positive contributors, offsetting a large negative contribution from industrial production. The six-month growth rate of the coincident index stands at 0.6 percent (approximately a 1.2 percent annual rate of growth) during the six-month span through November. The coincident index remains relatively strong as the strengths among its components have been very widespread throughout the last six months.
  • The leading index grew slowly, but steadily, throughout 2007 following an essentially flat period in the second half of 2006. At the same time, real GDP growth fluctuated slightly around an average annual rate of 2.0 percent, and picked up to a 3.2 percent annual rate in the third quarter of 2007. The recent behavior of the leading and coincident indexes so far suggests that moderate economic growth is likely to continue in the near term.

LEADING INDICATORS. Four of the seven 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 industrial new orders, the inverted new unemployment claims, the ratio of the deflator of manufacturing value added to unit labor cost for manufacturing*, and the yield spread. The negative contributors to the index — beginning with the largest negative contributor — are building permits (residential), and the stock price index. Production expectations remained unchanged in November.

Remaining unchanged in November, the leading index stands at 131.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.4 percent in October and increased 0.2 percent in September. During the six-month span through November, the leading index increased 1.2 percent, and four of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 57.1 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Two of the four components of the coincident index increased in November. The positive contributors to the index were employment*, and wage and salaries*. Industrial production declined in November. Personal consumption remained unchanged in November.

Please also visit the web site of our research associate in France: http://www.rexecode.fr/index.jsv.

Remaining unchanged in November, the coincident index stands at 122.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in October and remained unchanged in September. During the six-month period through November, the coincident index increased 0.6 percent, with four of the four series making a positive contribution (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100.0 percent).

* See notes under data availability.

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, 2008. Some series are estimated as noted below.

NOTES: Series in the leading index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are 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 number of employees and wage and salaries.

With the May 2006 release the FRANCE LEADING ECONOMIC INDICATORS AND RELATED COMPOSITE INDEXES underwent a benchmark revision. For more information on these benchmark revisions please visit us here on our website at http://www.conference-board.org/economics/bci/update.cfm?cid=3.

THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.

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