Global Business Cycle Indicators
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Released: Wednesday, February 19, 2014
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for France increased 0.1 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI) remained unchanged in December.
- The Conference Board LEI for France continued to edge up in December. The six-month growth rate of the LEI declined slightly to 1.3 percent (about a 2.6 percent annual rate) between June and December 2013, from 1.5 percent (about a 3.0 percent annual rate) during the previous six months. In addition, the strengths among the leading indicators have remained slightly more widespread than the weaknesses in recent months.
- The Conference Board CEI for France, a measure of current economic activity, was unchanged in December. The index was revised upward between August and November, after fourth quarter employee and wage and salaries data became available. The index increased 0.2 percent (about a 0.4 percent annual rate) between June and December 2013, a reversal from its decline in the previous six months. In addition, the strengths among the coincident indicators have become very widespread in the last six months with all components advancing. Meanwhile, real GDP increased 1.2 percent (annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2013, after contracting at 0.2 percent (annul rate) in the third quarter.
- The LEI for France has been essentially advancing throughout 2013, but its six-month growth rate moderately slowed in the second half of the year. Meanwhile, the CEI has been relatively flat for the past year, but its six-month growth rate has become slightly positive in recent months. Taken together, the recent behavior of the composite indexes suggests that the contraction in economic activity will likely continue to ease in early 2014.
LEADING INDICATORS. Three of the seven components of the leading economic index increased in December. The positive contributors to the index — in order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — are the yield spread, production expectations, and industrial new orders. The negative contributors to the index — beginning with the largest negative contributor — are the stock price index, building permits (residential), (inverted) new unemployment claims*, and the ratio of the deflator of manufacturing value added to unit labor cost in manufacturing*.
With the increase of 0.1 percent in December, the leading economic index now stands at 116.9 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.1 percent in November and increased 0.7 percent in October. During the six-month span through December, the index increased 1.3 percent, and four of the seven components increased (diffusion index, six-month span equals 57.1 percent).
COINCIDENT INDICATORS. Three of the four components of the coincident economic index increased in December. The positive contributors to the index were wage and salaries*, employment*, and personal consumption. Only industrial production declined in December.
After remaining unchanged in December, the coincident economic index now stands at 103.5 (2004=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in November and was unchanged in October. During the six-month period through December, the index increased 0.2 percent, with all four series making a positive contribution (diffusion index, six-month span equals 100.0 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 February 18, 2014. 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 and wage and salaries.
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