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Released: Thursday, October 18, 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 August.

  • The Conference Board LEI for France increased again in August, after declining through the second quarter of 2012. In the six-month period ending August 2012, the leading index advanced 0.9 percent (about a 1.8 percent annual rate), slightly accelerating from the 0.4 percent gain (about a 0.7 percent annual rate) in the previous six months. However, the weaknesses among the leading indicators have remained widespread in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for France, a measure of current economic activity, was unchanged in August. Between February and August 2012, the index also remained unchanged, after decreasing 0.1 percent (about a -0.2 percent annual rate) in the previous six months. However, during the same period, the strengths among the coincident indicators have become more widespread than the weaknesses. Meanwhile, real GDP contracted at a 0.1 percent annual rate during the second quarter of 2012, slightly down from an increase of 0.1 percent (annual rate) in the first quarter.      
  • Despite two consecutive monthly gains in the LEI for France, the index’s six-month growth rate remains just moderately positive. At the same time, the CEI for France was unchanged and has been relatively flat over the past year. Taken together, the composite indexes suggest economic activity in France will likely remain stagnant and a pickup in the near-term is unlikely.

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

With the increase of 0.6 percent in August, the leading economic index now stands at 114.2 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in July and declined 0.3 percent in June. During the six-month span through August, the index increased 0.9 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 August.  The positive contributors to the index were industrial production and wage and salaries*.  Personal consumption and employment* declined in August.    

After remaining unchanged in August, the coincident economic index now stands at 104.5 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in July and was flat in June.  During the six-month period through August, the index remained unchanged, with three of the four series making a positive contribution (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 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 October 15, 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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