Global Business Cycle Indicators
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Released: Friday, October 17, 2014
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for France remained unchanged and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) increased 0.1 percent in August.
- The Conference Board LEI for France remained unchanged in August. Between February and August, the leading economic index increased 0.6 percent (about a 1.2 percent annual rate), much slower than its increase of 1.2 percent (about a 2.4 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. In addition, the weaknesses among the leading indicators have become more widespread than the strengths in the past six months.
- The Conference Board CEI for France, a measure of current economic activity, increased marginally in August. The index was revised upward between March and July, after second quarter data for wage and salaries became available. During the six-month period ending in August, the coincident economic index increased 0.3 percent (about a 0.6 percent annual rate), the same rate as in the prior six months. The strengths among the coincident indicators have become more widespread than the weaknesses in recent months. Meanwhile, real GDP contracted by 0.1 percent (annual rate) in the second quarter, after expanding 0.2 percent (annual rate) in the first quarter.
- The LEI has improved moderately in recent months. As a result, its six-month growth rate remains positive, but is only half as fast as six months ago. Meanwhile, the CEI has been relatively flat for the past two years, and its six-month growth rate remains slightly positive. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that economic activity is likely to remain sluggish throughout the remainder of this year.
LEADING INDICATORS. Three of the seven components that make up The Conference Board LEI for France increased in August. The positive contributors to the index—in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest—are the yield spread, building permits (residential), and new unemployment claims (inverted). The negative contributors to the index—beginning with the largest negative contributor—are production expectations, the stock price index, and the ratio of the deflator of manufacturing value added to unit labor cost in manufacturing*. Industrial new orders remained unchanged in August.
After no change in August, the leading economic index now stands at 118.2 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.5 percent in July and declined 0.1 percent in June. During the six-month span through August, the index increased 0.6 percent, and two of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 28.6 percent).
COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Three of the four components that make up The Conference Board CEI for France increased in August. The positive contributors to the index were wage and salaries*, personal consumption of manufactured goods, and employment*, while industrial production remained unchanged in August.
With the increase of 0.1 percent in August, the coincident economic index now stands at 103.9 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index was unchanged in July and increased 0.2 percent in June. During the six-month period through August, the index increased 0.3 percent, with three of the four series making a positive contribution (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” 4 P.M. ET on October 14, 2014. 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 and (inverted) new unemployment claims. Series in The Conference Board CEI for France that are based on our estimates are number of employees, personal consumption of manufactured goods and wage and salaries.
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