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Released: Friday, April 22, 2011

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for France increased 0.5 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) increased 0.1 percent in February.

  • The Conference Board LEI for France increased in February, following large gains in the previous two months. Building permits, the yield spread, and new unemployment claims (inverted) all made large positive contributions to the index this month. In the six-month period ending February 2011, the leading economic index increased 2.6 percent (a 5.3 percent annual rate), below the growth of 3.6 percent (a 7.3 percent annual rate) during the previous six-month period. However, the strengths among the leading indicators have been widespread in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for France, a measure of current economic activity, also increased in February, with all of its components rising. Between August 2010 and February 2011, the coincident economic index grew by 1.0 percent (about a 1.9 percent annual rate), slightly above the growth of 0.8 percent (a 1.6 percent annual rate) that prevailed during the last six months. In addition, the strengths among the coincident indicators have been very widespread recently. Meanwhile, real GDP grew at a 1.4 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2010, following growth of 1.0 percent annual rate in the third quarter of 2010.
  • The Conference Board LEI for France has been on a general upward trend since April 2009, but its six-month growth rate has moderated since reaching a high in late 2009. Meanwhile, The Conference Board CEI for France has been on a rising trend since reaching a trough in August 2009, amid widespread strength among its components. Taken together, the behavior of the composite indexes suggests that the expansion in economic activity that began in May 2009 should continue in the near term.

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

With the increase of 0.5 percent in February, the leading economic index now stands at 113.1 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.9 percent in January and increased 0.7 percent in December. During the six-month span through February, the index increased 2.6 percent, and six of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 85.7 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS.  All four components of the coincident economic index increased in February.  The positive contributors to the index — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — were personal consumption, wage and salaries*, employment*, and industrial production.  

With the increase of 0.1 percent in February, the coincident economic index now stands at 104.9 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in January and increased 0.1 percent in December.  During the six-month period through February, the index increased 1.0 percent, with all four series making a positive contribution (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100.0 percent).

Prior to March 1994, the residential building permits component of The Conference Board LEI for France is calculated as permits granted minus permits cancelled. From March 1994 going forward, the permits granted series replaces residential building permits (an original component of the LEI) because of delays in the publication of permits cancelled data by the source agency.  The impact on the LEI is negligible. If the missing series becomes available, the original definition of the housing permits series may be restored.

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.

Also visit the website of our research associate in France: http://www.coe-rexecode.fr/public

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

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