Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Monday, December 19, 2011

Next month's release will incorporate annual benchmark revisions to the composite indexes. These regular benchmark revisions bring the indexes up-to-date with revisions in the source data. The revisions do not change the cyclical properties of the indexes. The indexes are updated throughout the year, but only for the previous six months. Data revisions that fall outside of the moving six-month window are incorporated when the benchmark revision is made and the entire histories of the indexes are recomputed. As a result, the revised indexes and their month-over-month changes will no longer be directly comparable to those issued prior to the benchmark revision.

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for France increased 0.5 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) increased 0.1 percent in October.

  • The Conference Board LEI for France increased in October, after three consecutive declines.  The yield spread, inverted new unemployment claims, and stock prices made the largest positive contributions to the index this month.  In the six-month period ending October 2011, the leading economic index declined by 0.8 percent (about a -1.6 percent annual rate), well below the increase of 3.0 percent (about a 6.0 percent annual rate) during the previous six months.  In addition, the weaknesses among the leading indicators have been widespread in recent months. 
  • The Conference Board CEI for France, a measure of current economic activity, increased slightly in October after a small decline in September.  Between April and October 2011, the coincident economic index increased by 0.6 percent (about a 1.2 percent annual rate), slightly slower than the increase of 0.9 percent (about a 1.7 percent annual rate) between October 2010 and April 2011.  Nevertheless, the strengths among the coincident indicators have been more widespread than the weaknesses in recent months.  Meanwhile, real GDP grew at a 1.6 percent annual rate during the third quarter of 2011, after contracting at a 0.2 percent annual rate during the second quarter.
  • The Conference Board LEI for France increased in October, but its six-month growth rate remained negative and there are still widespread weaknesses among its components over the past six months.  At the same time, The Conference Board CEI for France has been on a slowly rising trend since reaching its most recent trough in August 2009, though its six-month growth rate has slowed since the beginning of the year. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that although current economic activity remains in positivity territory, risks to economic growth in the near term are still present.

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

With the increase of 0.5 percent in October, the leading economic index now stands at 113.4 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index declined 0.6 percent in September and declined 0.4 percent in August. During the six-month span through October, the index decreased 0.8 percent, and one of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 14.3 percent).

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

With the increase of 0.1 percent in October, the coincident economic index now stands at 105.6 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index decreased 0.1 percent in September and increased 0.1 percent in August.  During the six-month period through October, the index increased 0.6 percent, with three of the four series making a positive contribution (diffusion index, six-month span equals 75.0 percent).


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