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Benchmark Revisions - May 2006

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Released: Monday, June 21, 2010

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for France increased 0.8 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) remained unchanged in April.

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  • The Conference Board LEI for France increased again in April, with the yield spread, industrial new orders and building permits (residential) making the largest positive contributions.  Between October 2009 and April 2010, the leading economic index increased by 3.8 percent (about a 7.7 percent annual rate), slightly slower than the 4.5 percent increase (about a 9.1 percent annual rate) between April and October 2009.  In addition, the strengths among the leading indicators have remained widespread in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for France, a measure of current economic activity, remained unchanged in April after increasing in March.  Between October 2009 and April 2010, the index increased by 0.4 percent (about a 0.8 percent annual rate), a reversal from the decline of 0.2 percent (about a -0.4 percent annual rate) during the previous six months.  Additionally, the strengths among the coincident indicators have been very widespread in recent months.  At the same time, real GDP expanded at a 0.5 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2010, slowing from an increase of 2.2 percent annual rate during the fourth quarter of 2009.
  • The Conference Board LEI for France has risen sharply for more than a year, and its six-month growth rate remains near the high it reached in October 2009.  Meanwhile, The Conference Board CEI for France has picked up during the past six months, after a long period of decline.  Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that the improvement in economic activity should continue in the near term.

                                      
LEADING INDICATORS. Five of the seven components of the leading economic index increased in April.  The positive contributors to the index — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — are the yield spread, industrial new orders, building permits (residential), the stock price index and inverted new unemployment claims.  The negative contributors to the index — beginning with the largest negative contributor — are production expectations and the ratio of the deflator of manufacturing value added to unit labor cost in manufacturing*.  

With the increase of 0.8 percent in April, the leading economic index now stands at 109.4 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 1.3 percent in March and remained unchanged in February. During the six-month span through April, the index increased 3.8 percent, and five of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 71.4 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS.  Two of the four components of the coincident economic index increased in April.  The positive contributors to the index were wage and salaries* and employment*.  Personal consumption and industrial production declined in April.

After remaining unchanged in April, the coincident economic index now stands at 103.8 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in March and decreased 0.1 percent in February.  During the six-month period through April, the index increased 0.4 percent, with three of the four series making a positive contribution (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).

NOTE:  Prior to March 2009, the residential building permits component of The Conference Board LEI for France is calculated as permits granted minus permits cancelled. From March 2009 going forward, the permits granted series replaces residential building permits because of delays in the publication of permits cancelled data by the source agency.  The same standardization factor is applied to both series because their volatilities are similar. If the missing series becomes available, the original definition of the housing permits series may be restored at the next benchmark revision.

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE BOARD

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world's leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.

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

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