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Released: Wednesday, September 18, 2013

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

  • The Conference Board LEI for France increased in July, as large positive contributions from the yield spread, production expectations, and industrial new orders more than offset negative contributions from residential building permits and new unemployment claims. In the six-month period ending in July, the leading economic index increased 1.2 percent (about a 2.5 percent annual rate), almost the same rate as during the previous six months. In addition, the strengths among the leading indicators have been more widespread than the weaknesses in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for France, a measure of current economic activity, decreased slightly in July. The index declined 0.1 percent between January and July, an improvement from its contraction of 0.5 percent (about a -1.0 percent annual rate) in the previous six months. In addition, the strengths among the coincident indicators have become more widespread than the weaknesses in recent months. Meanwhile, real GDP increased by 1.9 percent (annual rate) in the second quarter after contracting 0.6 percent (annual rate) in the first quarter.
  • The LEI for France has increased in five out of the last seven months and its six-month growth rate remains in positive territory. Meanwhile, the CEI has been virtually flat over the past six months. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that the recovery in economic activity will likely continue in the near term, though at a modest pace.

LEADING INDICATORS. Five 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, production expectations, industrial new orders, 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 (inverted) new unemployment claims.    

With the increase of 0.3 percent in July, the leading economic index now stands at 115.5 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index declined 0.1 percent in June and increased 0.5 percent in May. During the six-month span through July, the index increased 1.2 percent, and five of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 71.4 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Among the four components of the coincident economic index, only wage and salaries* increased in July.  Employment* and industrial production declined, while personal consumption of manufacturing goods* was unchanged.

With the decrease of 0.1 percent in July, the coincident economic index now stands at 103.8 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in June and May.  During the six-month period through July, the index decreased 0.1 percent, with two of the four series making a positive contribution (diffusion index, six-month span equals 62.5 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 13, 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 assocation 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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