Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Conference Board reports today that the leading index for France was unchanged, while the coincident index decreased 0.1 percent in October.

  • The leading index was unchanged in October after declining slightly in September. The growth rate of the leading index has been fluctuating around a 1.0 percent annual rate since the beginning of 2005, well below the 5.0 percent rate reached in the second quarter of 2004. However, the strengths and weaknesses among the leading indicators continued to be somewhat balanced in recent months.
  • The coincident index fell slightly in October, but it is still on a flat to slightly rising trend since early 2005. At the same time, real GDP growth picked up to a 2.8 percent annual rate in the third quarter of 2005, up from the 1.0 percent average rate in the first half of 2005. The behavior of the leading index in recent months suggests that the economy will continue to grow moderately in the near term.

Leading Indicators. Four of the ten components of the leading index increased in October. The positive contributors to the index —in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest— are industrial new orders, the inverted new unemployment claims, the yield spread, and personal consumption of manufacturing goods. Change in stocks*, the inverted bond yield, the consumer confidence index (opinion balance), building permits (residential), and the stock price index declined, while the ratio of the deflator of manufacturing value added to unit labor cost for manufacturing* remained unchanged in October.

Holding steady in October, the leading index now stands at 106.2 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.1 percent in September and increased 0.1 percent in August. During the six-month span through October, the leading index increased 0.3 percent, and seven of the ten components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 70.0 percent).

Coincident Indicators.Two of the four components of the coincident index increased in October. The positive contributors to the index were real imports* and paid employment*. Industrial production and retail sales declined in October.

With the 0.1 percent decrease in October, the coincident index now stands at 116.8 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in September and increased 0.3 percent in August. During the six-month period through October, the coincident 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 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 December 14, 2005. 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.


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