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Benchmark Revisions - May 2006

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Released: Tuesday, January 22, 2013

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This month's release incorporates annual benchmark revisions to the composite economic indexes. These regular benchmark revisions bring the indexes up-to-date with revisions in the source data, but do not change the cyclical properties of the indexes. The indexes are updated throughout the year, but only for the previous six months. Data revisions that fall outside of the moving six-month window are incorporated when the benchmark revision is made and the entire histories of the indexes are recomputed. As a result, the revised indexes and their month-over-month changes will no longer be directly comparable to those issued prior to the benchmark revision.

For more information, please visit our website at
http://www.conference-board.org/data/bci.cfm  or contact
indicators@conference-board.org.

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The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for France increased 0.5 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) remained unchanged in November.

  • The Conference Board LEI for France increased slightly in November, as large positive contributions from industrial new orders and production expectations more than offset declines from building permits and new unemployment claims. In the six-month period ending November 2012, the leading economic index increased 1.3 percent (about a 2.7 percent annual rate), slightly above its increase of 1.0 percent (about 2.0 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. In addition, the strengths among the leading indicators have remained slightly more widespread than the weaknesses in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for France, a measure of current economic activity, was unchanged in November. Between May and November 2012, the index fell 0.4 percent (about a -0.8 percent annual rate), slightly steeper than its decline of 0.2 percent (about -0.4 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. In addition, the weaknesses among the coincident indicators have been more widespread than the strengths in recent months. Meanwhile, real GDP grew at a 0.4 percent annual rate during the third quarter of 2012, after contracting in the previous two quarters.  
  • The LEI for France increased in November and its six-month growth rate has improved slightly. The CEI for France, however, has been largely on the decline during the second half of 2012 after staying essentially flat in the first half of 2012. The recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that economic activity remains weak, but may start to pick up slightly in the near term.

LEADING INDICATORS. Five of the seven components of the leading economic index increased in November. The positive contributors to the index — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — are production expectations, industrial new orders, the yield spread, the stock price index, 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 larger negative contributor — are building permits (residential) and the inverted new unemployment claims.    

With the increase of 0.5 percent in November, the leading economic index now stands at 114.1 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.4 percent in October and increased 0.6 percent in September. During the six-month span through November, the index increased 1.3 percent, and four of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 57.1 percent).

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

After remaining unchanged in November, the coincident economic index now stands at 104.0 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in October and decreased 0.2 percent in September. During the six-month period through November, the index decreased 0.4 percent, with one of the four series making a positive contribution (diffusion index, six-month span equals 12.5 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 January 17, 2013.  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.

Starting with the January 2013 release, The Conference Board is using the level of the interest rate spread, rather than its monthly change, to calculate the one and six-month diffusion indexes of The Conference Board LEI for France.

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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