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Benchmark Revisions - May 2006

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Released: Friday, July 19, 2013

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

  • The Conference Board LEI for France increased in May, as industrial new orders, stock prices, the yield spread and new unemployment claims (inverted) made large positive contributions to the index. In the six-month period ending in May, the leading economic index increased 1.6 percent (about a 3.2 percent annual rate), up from its increase of 0.8 percent (about a 1.6 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. In addition, the strengths among the leading indicators have been slightly more widespread than the weaknesses in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for France, a measure of current economic activity, was unchanged in April. Between November 2012 and May 2013, the index increased 0.2 percent, an improvement from its 0.5 percent decrease (about a -1.0 percent annual rate) in the previous six months. In addition, the strengths and weaknesses among the coincident indicators have become balanced in recent months. Meanwhile, real GDP contracted at a 0.6 percent (annual rate) in the first quarter of 2013, about the same rate of contraction as in the fourth quarter of 2012.
  • The LEI for France has increased in four out of five months in 2013, and as a result its six-month growth rate continues to increase. Meanwhile, the CEI has been relatively flat over the past six months. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that economic activity may slowly begin to recover in the near term.

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

With the increase of 0.5 percent in May, the leading economic index now stands at 115.3 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index declined 0.5 percent in April and increased 0.6 percent in March. During the six-month span through May, the index increased 1.6 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 May.  The positive contributors to the index were wage and salaries* and personal consumption.  Industrial production and employment* declined in May.    

After remaining unchanged in May, the coincident economic index now stands at 104.1 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in April and decreased 0.1 percent in March.  During the six-month period through May, the index increased 0.2 percent, with two of the four series making positive contributions (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 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 July 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.

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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