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Released: Monday, June 20, 2011

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index®(LEI) for France increased 0.3 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) decreased 0.1 percent in April.

  • The Conference Board LEI for France increased in April, its fifth consecutive monthly rise. The yield spread and unemployment claims (inverted) made large positive contributions to the index this month, more than offsetting the substantial negative contribution from production expectations. Between October 2010 and April 2011, the leading economic index increased 3.2 percent (about a 6.4 percent annual rate), faster than the increase of 2.4 percent (about a 4.9 percent annual rate) during the previous six-month period. In addition, the strengths among the leading indicators have been widespread in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for France, a measure of current economic activity, declined slightly in April, following no change in March. A large drop in personal consumption expenditures more than offset the increases in employment and wages and salaries. In the six-month period ending April 2011, the coincident economic index increased 0.9 percent (about a 1.7 percent annual rate), slightly faster than the 0.7 percent rate of growth (about a 1.4 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. Additionally, the strengths among the coincident indicators have been very widespread recently. Meanwhile, real GDP increased at a 3.9 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2011, following an increase of 1.4 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2010.
  • The Conference Board LEI for France continued to increase in April, and it is now 4.3 percent above its most recent peak in August 2007. In addition, its six-month growth rate has been relatively steady. Meanwhile, The Conference Board CEI for France declined in April, but the index has been on a rising trend since reaching its most recent trough in August 2009. Taken together, the behavior of the composite indexes suggests that economic activity should expand moderately in the near term.

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

With the increase of 0.3 percent in April, the leading economic index now stands at 114.5 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 1.0 percent in March and increased 0.5 percent in February. During the six-month span through April, the index increased 3.2 percent, and five of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 71.4 percent.

COINCIDENT INDICATORS.Two of the four components of the coincident economic index increased in April. The positive contributors to the index were employment* and wage and salaries*. Personal consumption and industrial production declined in April.

With the decrease of 0.1 percent in April, the coincident economic index now stands at 105.0 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index remained unchanged in March and increased 0.2 percent in February. During the six-month period through April, the index increased 0.9 percent, with three of the four series making a positive contribution (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE BOARD

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world’s leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.

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

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