Press Release Archive
Released: Wednesday, June 16, 2004
The Conference Board reports today that the leading index for France increased 0.2 percent and the coincident index was unchanged in April.
- The leading index increased again in April, and the positive contributions among its components continued to be widespread. The growth rate of the leading index has been fluctuating around a 3.5 percent average annual rate since August 2003, with growth of about 2.5 percent so far this year. The coincident index was unchanged in April, keeping it on a flat to slightly rising trend.
- The growth rate of the leading index has been improving since late 2002, and correspondingly, real GDP increased at a 2.8 percent average annual rate over the last two quarters (2.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2003 and 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2004). The persistent widespread growth in the leading index suggests a continuation of this recent economic growth, or even some further pickup in the near term.
Leading Indicators. Six of the ten components of the leading index increased in April. The positive contributors to the index —in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest— are industrial new orders, building permits (residential), 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*, and the yield spread. The inverted new unemployment claims and the inverted bond yield declined in April, while personal consumption of manufacturing goods and change in stocks* remained unchanged.
With the 0.2 percent increase in April, the leading index now stands at 103.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in March and held steady in February. During the six-month span through April, the leading index increased 1.7 percent, and eight of the ten components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 85.0 percent).
Coincident Indicators. Only one of the four components of the coincident index increased in April. The positive contributor to the index was real imports*. Retail sales and industrial production held steady, while paid employment* declined in April.
Holding steady in April, the coincident index now stands at 115.0 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index was unchanged in March and increased 0.1 percent in February. During the six-month period through April, the coincident index increased 0.1 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 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 June 15, 2004. 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 the deflator of real imports and paid employment.
THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.