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Released: Friday, April 24, 2015

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for France increased 0.2 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) remained unchanged in February.

  • The Conference Board LEI for France increased in February, and was revised upward between September 2014 and January 2015, after fourth quarter data for the ratio deflator of value added to unit labor cost became available. In the six-month period ending in February 2015, the leading economic index increased 1.3 percent (about a 2.6 percent annual rate), up from 0.6 percent (about a 1.3 percent annual rate) in the prior six months. In addition, the strengths among the leading indicators have been slightly more widespread than the weaknesses over the past six months.
  • The Conference Board CEI for France, a measure of current economic activity, was unchanged in February. The coincident economic index increased 0.3 percent (about a 0.6 percent annual rate) between August 2014 and February 2015, after no improvement over the previous six months. Moreover, the strengths among the leading indicators have become more widespread than the weaknesses in recent months. Meanwhile, real GDP grew 0.5 percent (annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2014, down from 1.2 percent (annual rate) in the third quarter.
  • The LEI has been on an upward trend since last summer; as a result its six-month growth rate has improved considerably. Meanwhile, the CEI has continued to moderately improve with the majority of its components advancing over the past six months. Taken together, the behavior of the composite indexes suggests that economic activity will likely continue expanding, and could even gradually accelerate in the near term.

LEADING INDICATORS. Four of the seven components that make up The Conference Board LEI for France increased in February. The positive contributors to the index—in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest—were the stock price index, new unemployment claims (inverted), the yield spread, and the ratio deflator of value added to unit labor cost in manufacturing*. The negative contributors to the index—beginning with the largest negative contributor—were industrial new orders, production expectations, and building permits (residential).

With the increase of 0.2 percent in February, the leading economic index now stands at 111.0 (2010=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.3 percent in January and remained unchanged in December. During the six-month span through February, the index increased 1.3 percent, and four of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 57.1 percent).

COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Two of the four components that make up The Conference Board CEI for France increased in February. The positive contributors to the index were wage and salaries* and employment*. Industrial production and personal consumption of manufactured goods remained unchanged.

After no change in February, the coincident economic index now stands at 100.3 (2010=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in January and increased 0.1 percent in December. During the six-month period through February, the index increased 0.3 percent, with three of the four series making a positive contribution (diffusion index, six-month span equals 87.5 percent).

* See notes under data availability.

DATA AVAILABILITY. The data series used to compute The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for France and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) for France reported in this release are those available “as of” 10 A.M. ET on April 21, 2015. Some series are estimated as noted below.

*The series in The Conference Board LEI for France that is based on our estimates is the ratio of the deflator of manufacturing value added to unit labor cost in manufacturing and (inverted) new unemployment claims. Series in The Conference Board CEI for France that are based on our estimates are number of employees, personal consumption of manufactured goods and wage and salaries.

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Professional Contacts at The Conference Board:

Indicator Program: indicators@conference-board.org

Media Contacts:

Carol Courter:
1 212 339 0232
carol.courter@conference-board.org

Jonathan Liu:
1 212 339 0257
jonathan.liu@conference-board.org

©The Conference Board 2013. All data contained in this table are protected by United States and international copyright laws. The data displayed are provided for informational purposes only and may only be accessed, reviewed, and/or used in with the permission accordance of The Conference Board consistent with a subscriber or license agreement and the Terms of Use displayed on our website at www.conference-board.org. The data and analysis contained herein may not be used, redistributed, published, or posted by any means without express written permission from The Conference Board.

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