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Released: Friday, August 17, 2012

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for France declined 0.3 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) remained unchanged in June.

  • The Conference Board LEI for France decreased for the third consecutive month in June, with new unemployment claims (inverted) and industrial new orders making the largest negative contributions. However, in the six-month period ending June 2012, the leading economic index increased by 0.3 percent (about a 0.5 percent annual rate), up from the 0.6 percent decrease (about a -1.2 percent annual rate) in the previous six months. Nevertheless, the weaknesses among the leading indicators have been more widespread than the strengths in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for France, a measure of current economic activity, remained unchanged in June and the index remained at its December 2011 level, after contracting by 0.1 percent (about a -0.2 percent annual rate) between June 2011 and December 2011. In addition, the strengths and weaknesses among the coincident indicators have been balanced in recent months. Meanwhile, real GDP contracted at a 0.2 percent annual rate during the second quarter of 2012, down slightly from a 0.1 percent annual rate of growth in the first quarter.      
  • The Conference Board LEI for France fell throughout the second quarter of 2012, though its six-month growth rate still remains slightly positive. At the same time, The Conference Board CEI has been essentially flat during the last twelve months. The recent behavior of the CEI and GDP shows that economic activity in France has stagnated, while the recent declines of the LEI suggest that sustained economic growth is unlikely in the near term.    

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

With the decrease of 0.3 percent in June, the leading economic index now stands at 113.0 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.2 percent in both May and April. During the six-month span through June, the index increased 0.3 percent, and two of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 28.6 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Two of the four components of the coincident economic index increased in June. The positive contributors to the index were wage and salaries* and employment*, while industrial production and personal consumption were unchanged in June.

After remaining unchanged in June, the coincident economic index now stands at 104.5 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index was unchanged in May and increased 0.1 percent in April. During the six-month period through June, the index remained unchanged, with two of the four components making a positive contribution (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 percent).

DATA AVAILABILITY. The data series used to compute The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for France and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for France reported in this release are those available “as of” 10 A.M. ET on August 14, 2012.  Some series are estimated as noted below.

*The series in The Conference Board LEI for France that is based on our estimates is the ratio of the deflator of manufacturing value added to unit labor cost in manufacturing. Series in The Conference Board CEI for France that are based on our estimates are number of employees and wage and salaries.

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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