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Released: Friday, April 20, 2012

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for France increased 0.6 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) remained unchanged in February.

  • The Conference Board LEI for France increased slightly in February as the yield spread, new unemployment claims (inverted), and stock prices made the largest positive contributions. In the six-month period ending February 2012, the leading economic index increased by 0.5 percent (about a 1.1 percent annual rate), the same rate as for the previous six months. However, the weaknesses among the leading indicators remained slightly more widespread than the strengths.
  • The Conference Board CEI for France, a measure of current economic activity, remained unchanged in February. Between August 2011 and February 2012, the coincident economic index decreased by 0.2 percent (about a -0.4 percent annual rate), a reversal from the 0.2 percent increase (about a 0.4 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. Nonetheless, the strengths and weaknesses among the coincident indicators have been balanced in recent months. Meanwhile, real GDP grew at a 0.6 percent annual rate during the fourth quarter of 2011, following a 1.3 percent annual rate of growth during the third quarter.
  • The Conference Board LEI for France has improved moderately in recent months, and this trend has pushed its six-month growth rate into positive territory for the first time since August of last year. At the same time, The Conference Board CEI remained on a slight downward trend, which started in the third quarter of 2011. The leading economic index has increased over the last three months, and current economic conditions may stop declining further soon, but it is too soon to conclude that economic activity will improve in the near term.

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

LEADING INDICATORS. Five 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 the yield spread, inverted new unemployment claims, the stock price index, industrial new orders, and production expectations.  The negative contributors to the index— beginning with the larger negative contributor— are building permits (residential) and the ratio of the deflator of manufacturing value added to unit labor cost in manufacturing*.    

With the increase of 0.6 percent in February, the leading economic index now stands at 113.4 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in January and increased 0.2 percent in December. During the six-month span through February, the index increased 0.5 percent, and three of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 42.9 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS.  Three of the four components of the coincident economic index increased in February.  The positive contributors to the index were personal consumption, wage and salaries*, and industrial production.  Employment* declined in February.

After remaining unchanged in February, the coincident economic index now stands at 104.4 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in January and decreased 0.1 percent in December.  During the six-month period through February, the index decreased 0.2 percent, with two of the four series making a positive contribution (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 percent).

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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