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Released: Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Conference Board reports today that the leading index for France increased 0.2 percent and the coincident index remained unchanged in September.

  • The leading index has now increased in each of the past seven months following two months of negative or no change at the beginning of 2007. In September, the strengths among the leading indicators were widespread. For the second consecutive month, (inverted) new unemployment claims was the largest positive contributor. During the past six months, the leading index has grown by 0.8 percent (approximately a 1.6 percent annual rate), picking up from a 0.4 percent growth rate (approximately a 0.8 percent annual rate) between September 2006 and March 2007. Additionally, the strengths among the leading indicators have been slightly more widespread than the weaknesses during the past six months.
  • The coincident index did not change in September. Employment in the private sector and wages and salaries remained the largest positive contributors in September, while industrial production made the only negative contribution. The six-month growth rate of the coincident index has fallen gradually to 0.6 percent (about a 1.2 percent annual rate) in September, down from a 1.6 percent six-month growth rate (about a 3.2 percent annual rate) in March. But, the strengths among the coincident indicators continued to be very widespread.
  • Since February, the leading index has increased at a slight but steady pace after remaining essentially flat from July 2006 through January of this year. At the same time, real GDP grew at a 1.2 percent annual rate in the second quarter, below the 2.3 percent annual rate in the first quarter. The recent behavior of the leading and coincident indexes still suggest that slow to moderate economic growth should continue in the near term.

LEADING INDICATORS. Six of the seven components of the leading index increased in September. The positive contributors to the index — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — are the inverted new unemployment claims, building permits (residential), the yield spread, the stock price index, production expectations and the ratio of the deflator of manufacturing value added to unit labor cost for manufacturing*. There were no negative contributors to the index this month. Industrial new orders remained unchanged in September.

With the increase of 0.2 percent in September, the leading index now stands at 130.5 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in August and increased 0.1 percent in July. During the six-month span through September, the leading index increased 0.8 percent, and four of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 64.3 percent).

Please also visit the website our research associate in France: http://www.rexecode.fr/index.jsv.

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Two of the four components of the coincident index increased in September. The positive contributors to the index were employment* and wage and salaries*. Industrial production declined this month while personal consumption remained unchanged.

The coincident index now stands at 122.7 (1990=100) after remaining unchanged in September. Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in August and increased 0.2 percent in July. During the six-month period through September, the coincident index increased 0.6 percent, with all four series making positive contributions (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100.0 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 November 9, 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 on these benchmark revisions please visit us here at http://www.conference-board.org/economics/bci/update.cfm?cid=3.

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

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