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Global Business Cycle Indicators


Press Release Archive

Released: Friday, January 20, 2012

This month's release incorporates annual benchmark revisions to the composite economic 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.

In addition to the regular benchmark revisions, this month’s release also includes a change in the wage and salaries component of the coincident economic index. For further details please see below.
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for France declined 0.2 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) increased 0.1 percent in November.

  • The Conference Board LEI for France fell in November for the fourth time in five months.  Negative contributions from inverted new unemployment claims and productions expectations more than offset a large positive contribution from the yield spread.  In the six-month period ending November 2011, the leading economic index declined by 0.3 percent (about a -0.5 percent annual rate), well below the increase of 3.0 percent (about a 6.1 percent annual rate) during the previous six months.  In addition, the weaknesses among the leading indicators have remained more widespread than the strengths in recent months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for France, a measure of current economic activity, increased slightly in November.  Between May and November 2011, the coincident economic index increased by 0.1 percent (about a 0.2 percent annual rate), slower than the 0.9 percent increase (about a 1.7 percent annual rate) between November 2010 and May 2011.  Nevertheless, the strengths among the coincident indicators have been slightly more widespread than the weaknesses in the last six months.  Meanwhile, real GDP grew at a 1.2 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 declined in November, and its six-month growth rate remains slightly negative.  At the same time, The Conference Board CEI for France has remained flat since July 2011, and 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 is in positive territory, risks to economic growth in the near term remain high.

Please also visit the website of our research associate in France:

The next release is scheduled for Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at 4:00 A.M. ET (10:00 A.M. Paris Time)

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

With the decrease of 0.2 percent in November, the leading economic index now stands at 112.5 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.5 percent in October and declined 0.5 percent in September. During the six-month span through November, the index decreased 0.3 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 economic index increased in November.  The positive contributors to the index were industrial production, wage and salaries*, and personal consumption.  Employment remained unchanged in November.

With the increase of 0.1 percent in November, the coincident economic index now stands at 104.7 (2004=100).  Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in October and decreased 0.2 percent in September.  During the six-month period through November, the index increased 0.1 percent, with two of the four series making a positive contribution (diffusion index, six-month span equals 62.5 percent).