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Released: Wednesday, November 20, 2013

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

  • The Conference Board LEI for France decreased slightly in September, as new unemployment claims (inverted), industrial new orders, and residential building permits made large negative contributions. With this small decline, the six-month growth rate of the LEI fell to 0.7 percent (about a 1.4 percent annual rate), half the 1.4 percent (about a 2.8 percent annual rate) growth seen during the previous six months. In addition, the strengths among the leading indicators have remained more widespread than the weaknesses in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for France, a measure of current economic activity, declined in September. The index decreased 0.1 percent (about a -0.2 percent annual rate) between March and September, a marginal improvement from its decline of 0.2 percent (about a -0.4 percent annual rate) over the previous six months. In addition, the strengths among the coincident indicators have become more widespread than weaknesses during the last six months. Meanwhile, real GDP contracted at 0.6 percent (annual rate) in the third quarter, after advancing 2.2 percent (annual rate) in the second quarter.
  • The upward trend in the LEI for France has slowed in recent months, though the six-month growth rate remains positive. Meanwhile, the CEI has been essentially flat over the past year but its six-month growth rate has turned negative in recent months. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that economic activity is likely to make slow progress in near term.

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

With the 0.1 percent decrease in September, the leading economic index now stands at 116.1 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.5 percent in August and 0.3 percent in July. During the six-month span through September, the index increased 0.7 percent, and five of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 71.4 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Of the four components of the coincident economic index, only personal consumption increased in September. Industrial production and employment* declined, while wage and salaries* remained unchanged.

With the decrease of 0.1 percent in September, the coincident economic index now stands at 103.8 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index was unchanged in August and decreased 0.1 percent in July. During the six-month period through September, the index decreased 0.1 percent, with three of the four components making positive contributions (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).

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 November 18, 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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