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Released: Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for France increased 0.8 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) remained unchanged in October.

  • The Conference Board LEI for France increased in October, with the yield spread and new unemployment claims (inverted) making the largest positive contributions. With this month’s advance, the six-month growth rate of the LEI picked up to 2.0 percent (about a 4.1 percent annual rate) from 1.5 percent (about a 3.0 percent annual rate) 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, was unchanged in October. The index fell 0.2 percent (about a -0.4 percent annual rate) between April and October, a reversal from its increase of 0.1 percent (about a 0.2 percent annual rate) over the previous six months. In addition, the weaknesses among the coincident indicators have become more widespread than strengths during the last six months. Meanwhile, real GDP contracted 0.6 percent (annual rate) in the third quarter, after advancing 2.2 percent (annual rate) in the second quarter.
  • The LEI for France has been advancing most of this year, and as a result its six-month growth rate has improved. Meanwhile, the CEI has been essentially flat for the past year but widespread weaknesses among its components are keeping its six-month growth rate negative. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that contraction in economic activity may ease in early 2014.

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

With the increase of 0.8 percent in October, the leading economic index now stands at 117.0 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.2 percent in September and increased 0.6 percent in August. During the six-month span through October, the index increased 2.0 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 October. The positive contributors to the index were wage and salaries* and personal consumption, while industrial production and employment* declined.

After remaining unchanged in October, the coincident economic index now stands at 103.9 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index was unchanged in both September and August.  During the six-month period through October, the index decreased 0.2 percent, with only one of the four series making a positive contribution (diffusion index, six-month span equals 25.0 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 December 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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