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Benchmark Revisions - May 2006

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Released: Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Conference Board reports today that the leading index for France increased 0.4 percent and the coincident index increased 0.1 percent in November.

  • The leading index increased in November, offsetting a sharp decrease in October. From May to November, the leading index grew 0.2 percent (about a 0.4 percent annual rate), down from the 3.0 to 3.5 percent average annual growth rate in the first half of the year. In addition, the weaknesses among the leading indicators have become somewhat more widespread in recent months.
  • The coincident index increased slightly in November, following a slight increase in October. This index of current economic activity has been on a slightly rising trend since mid-2003, but its growth has moderated slightly in recent months (from about a 2.0 percent annual growth rate at the beginning of 2006 down to about 0.5 percent growth). The strengths among the coincident indicators have been widespread.
  • The leading index was growing rapidly through September 2006, but its growth has slowed sharply in recent months. At the same time, real GDP increased only 0.03 percent in the third quarter of 2006, following a 3.3 percent average annual rate in the first half of 2006. The recent behavior of the leading index so far still suggests that slow to moderate economic growth is likely to continue in the near term.

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

With the increase of 0.4 percent in November, the leading index now stands at 129.2 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.4 percent in October and increased 0.2 percent in September. During the six-month span through November, the leading index increased 0.2 percent, and two of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 35.7 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Three of the four components of the coincident index increased in November. The positive contributors to the index were personal consumption, employment*, and wage and salaries*. Industrial production declined in November.

With the increase of 0.1 percent in November, the coincident index now stands at 120.1 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in October and decreased 0.1 percent in September. During the six-month period through November, 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). * See notes under data availability.

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 January 11, 2007. Some series are estimated as noted below.

NOTES: Series in the leading index that are based on The Conference Board estimates are 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 number of employees and wage and salaries.

With the May 2006 release the FRANCE LEADING ECONOMIC INDICATORS AND RELATED COMPOSITE INDEXES underwent a benchmark revision. For more information, look here on our website. Please visit our research associate in France: http://www.rexecode.fr/index.jsv

THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.

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