The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators for France fell a tenth of a percentage point in January, the most recent month for which data are available. It now stands at 105.9 (1990=100). The index rose three-tenths of a percent in December 2005 and fell three-tenths in November of last year.
"The recent behavior in the leading index suggests that the [French] economy is likely to continue growing at a slow to moderate pace in the near term," says the Conference Board, a New York-based business research group.
During the fourth quarter of 2005, the French economy grew at an annual rate of nine tenths of a percent.