Press Release Archive
Released: Tuesday, June 17, 2008
The Conference Board reports today that the leading index for France declined 0.1 percent and the coincident index increased 0.1 percent in April.
- The leading index declined slightly in April, the sixth consecutive monthly decline. Stock prices and production expectations made large positive contributions in April, but negative contributions from industrial new orders and unemployment claims (inverted) offset these positive contributions. The six-month change in the leading index fell to -1.8 percent (about a -3.5 percent annual rate) during the six-month span through April, well below the six-month growth rate of 0.9 percent (about a 1.9 percent annual rate) which prevailed during the six-month span between April 2007 and October 2007.
- The coincident index, a measure of current economic activity, increased slightly in April after posting no change in March. Industrial production contributed positively to the index this month, offsetting a negative contribution from the personal consumption of manufactured goods component. The six-month growth rate in the coincident index stands at 0.2 percent (about a 0.3 percent annual rate) during the six-month span through April. In addition, the strengths and weaknesses among the coincident indicators were balanced in recent months.
- The leading index has been declining since October 2007 and the weaknesses among the leading indicators remained widespread in recent months. Meanwhile, the expansion of the coincident index slowed below growth rates reached during the first half of 2007. Real GDP grew at a 2.6 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2008, above the 2.1 percent average annual rate during the second half of 2007. The recent behaviour of the composite indexes suggests that economic growth is likely to be more moderate in the near term.
LEADING INDICATORS. Three of the seven 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 the stock price index, production expectations, and the yield spread. The negative contributors to the index — beginning with the largest negative contributor — are industrial new orders, the inverted new unemployment claims, building permits (residential), and the ratio of the deflator of manufacturing value added to unit labor cost for manufacturing*.
With the decrease of 0.1 percent in April, the leading index now stands at 128.6 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index declined 0.1 percent in March and declined 0.4 percent in February. During the six-month span through April, the leading index decreased 1.8 percent, and one of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 14.3 percent).
Please visit the web site of our research associate in France: http://www.rexecode.fr/index.jsv.
COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Three of the four components of the coincident index increased in April. The positive contributors to the index — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — were industrial production, employment*, and wage and salaries*. Personal consumption declined in April.
With the increase of 0.1 percent in April, the coincident index now stands at 123.2 (1990=100). Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in March and increased 0.1 percent in February. During the six-month period through April, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent, with two of the four series making a positive contribution (diffusion index, six-month span equals 50.0 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 13, 2008. 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 on our website 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.