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Released: Friday, October 18, 2013

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, as large positive contributions from the yield spread, new unemployment claims, stock price and industrial new orders more than offset negative contributions from residential building permits. In the six-month period ending in August, the leading economic index increased 1.5 percent (about a 3.0 percent annual rate), slightly faster than its increase of 1.2 percent (about a 2.5 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. In addition, the strengths among the leading indicators have become more widespread than the weaknesses in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for France, a measure of current economic activity, was unchanged in August. The index was flat between February and August, an improvement from its contraction of 0.3 percent (about a -0.6 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 increased by 2.1 percent (annual rate) in the second quarter after contracting 0.6 percent (annual rate) in the first quarter.
  • The LEI for France has been on an upward trend since the beginning of the year, and as a result its six-month growth rate has improved. Meanwhile, the CEI has been flat over the past six months and its six-month growth rate has moved out of negative territory. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that the recovery in economic activity will continue in the near term.

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, new unemployment claims (inverted), industrial new orders, the stock price index, 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 0.6 percent in August, the leading economic index now stands at 116.3 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in July and declined 0.1 percent in June. During the six-month span through August, the index increased 1.5 percent, and six of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 85.7 percent).

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

After remaining unchanged in August, the coincident economic index now stands at 104.0 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in July and decreased 0.1 percent in June.  During the six-month period through August, the index remained unchanged, with two of the four series making a positive contribution (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 October 16, 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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