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Released: Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for France increased 0.3 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) increased 0.1 percent in July.

  • The Conference Board LEI for France increased slightly in July, following three consecutive monthly declines, as positive contributions from the yield spread and stock prices more than offset the negative contribution from new unemployment claims (inverted). In the six-month period ending July 2012, the leading economic index increased by 0.6 percent (about a 1.2 percent annual rate), a reversal from the 0.6 percent decrease (about a -1.2 percent annual rate) in the previous six months. However, the weaknesses among the leading indicators have been very widespread in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for France, a measure of current economic activity, increased slightly in July. However, between January and July 2012, the index has decreased by 0.1 percent (about a -0.2 percent annual rate), following a decrease of 0.2 percent (about -0.4 percent annual rate) in the previous six months. In addition, weaknesses among the coincident indicators have become more widespread than the strengths 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.      
  • After declining throughout the second quarter of 2012, The Conference Board LEI for France advanced slightly in July and, as a result, its six-month growth rate remains slightly positive. At the same time, The Conference Board CEI has been essentially flat during the last twelve months. Despite this month’s modest increase in the LEI, the recent behaviors of LEI, CEI, and GDP indicate that economic activity in France has stagnated, and economic activity is unlikely to pick up in the near term.    

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

With the increase of 0.3 percent in July, the leading economic index now stands at 113.3 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.3 percent in June and 0.2 percent in May. During the six-month span through July, the index increased 0.6 percent, while none of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 0.0 percent).

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

With the increase of 0.1 percent in July, the coincident economic index now stands at 104.4 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in June and decreased 0.1 percent in May. During the six-month period through July, the index decreased 0.1 percent, with one of the four series making a positive contribution (diffusion index, six-month span equals 37.5 percent).

* See notes under data availability.

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 September 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 CEIfor France that are based on our estimates are number of employees, personal consumption and wage and salaries.

NOTE: Beginning with this release, several data series in both The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the France and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for the France will now be provided by Haver Analytics, and not Thomson Reuters DataStream. As a result, some data series have been revised, but these changes do not affect the overall cyclical properties of the indexes.  For more information about these changes please contact
.

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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