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Released: Monday, December 17, 2012

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

  • The Conference Board LEI for France decreased slightly in October, as a large negative contribution from industrial new orders more than offset a large positive contribution from the yield spread. In the six-month period ending October 2012, the leading economic index increased 0.6 percent (about a 1.2 percent annual rate), slower than its 1.0 percent increase (about a 2.0 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. However, the weaknesses among the leading indicators remain slightly more widespread than the strengths in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for France, a measure of current economic activity, decreased again in October. Between April and October 2012, the index fell 0.5 percent (about a -1.0 percent annual rate), slightly steeper than its decline of 0.1 percent (about -0.2 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. In addition, the weaknesses among the coincident indicators have been more widespread than the strengths recently. Meanwhile, real GDP grew at a 0.9 percent annual rate during the third quarter of 2012, after remaining relatively flat over the prior three quarters.  
  • The LEI for France declined in October, after moderate increases throughout the third quarter of 2012. The six-month growth rate has slowed, but remains positive. During the past year, the CEI for France has been relatively flat, with real GDP showing a similar trend. The recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that economic activity is still weak, and not likely to pick up in the near term.  

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

With the decrease of 0.5 percent in October, the leading economic index now stands at 114.4 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.7 percent in September and increased 0.5 percent in August. During the six-month span through October, the index increased 0.6 percent, and three of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 42.9 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Personal consumption made the only positive contribution to The Conference Board CEI for France. Employment* and industrial production declined in October, while   wage and salaries remained unchanged in October.

With the decrease of 0.1 percent in October, the coincident economic index now stands at 103.9 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.3 percent in September and remained unchanged in August. During the six-month period through October, the index decreased 0.5 percent, with one of the four series making a positive contribution (diffusion index, six-month span equals 25.0 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 December 12, 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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