Press Release Archive
Released: Tuesday, April 15, 2003
The Conference Board reports today that the leading index for France declined 0.3 percent, while the coincident index held steady in February.
- With the decline in February, the leading index has been flat or declining for the last nine consecutive months. The downward trend, which started in the leading index in June 2000, has continued despite a brief interruption in early 2002.
- This month’s decline in the leading index is primarily due to persistently weak stock prices and consumer confidence, as well as deterioration in industrial new orders.
- The coincident index remained flat in February. This index has been essentially flat for the last fifteen months, compared to the long upward trend it experienced during the late 90s. Although the weakness in the indexes has not yet sent a clear signal for a recession, the indexes suggest that the economy will continue to be stagnant in the coming months.
Leading Indicators. Four of the ten components of the leading index increased in February. The positive contributors to the index —in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest— are inverted new unemployment claims, change in stocks*, personal consumption of manufacturing goods, and the inverted bond yield. Six of the ten components of the leading index decreased in February. The negative contributors to the index —in order from the largest negative contributor to the smallest—are industrial new orders, the consumer confidence index (opinion balance), the stock price index, the ratio of the deflator of manufacturing value added to unit labor cost for manufacturing*, building permits (residential), and the yield spread.
With the 0.3 percent decrease in February, the leading index now stands at 101.3 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.3 percent in January and remained unchanged in December. During the six-month span through February, the leading index decreased 1.3 percent, and three of the ten components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 30 percent).
Coincident Indicators. COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Two of the components of the coincident index increased in February. The positive contributors to the index —in order from the larger positive contributor to the smaller—are paid employment* and real imports*. Retail sales and industrial production* declined in February.
Holding steady in February, the coincident index now stands at 115.0 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in January and remained unchanged in December. During the six-month period through February, the coincident index increased 0.3 percent, with two of the four series making positive contributions (diffusion index, six-month span equals 62.5 percent).
Data Availability. . The data series used by The Conference Board to compute the two composite indexes reported in the tables in this release are those available “as of” 10 A.M. ET on April 11, 2003. Some series are estimated as noted below.
*Notes: Series in the leading index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are change in stocks and ratio deflator of manufacturing value added to unit labor cost in manufacturing. Series in the coincident index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are industrial production, real imports, and paid employment.
THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.