Économie et Statistique n° 395-396 - Business Tendency Surveys
A New Monthly Synthetic Indicator Summarising the Business Climate of the French Service Sector
The new monthly synthetic indicator proposed in this article summarizes the information contained in the French services business survey. It is obtained by extracting a signal common to three monthly series and to three quarterly series. The approach used in its construction falls within the scope of dynamic factor analysis. The synthetic indicator is the result of an estimation of an unobservable components model. The synthetic indicator can be applied to three sub-sectors covered by the services business survey (business services, household services and real estate activities). Examination of the indicator confirms the recovery of activity in all of these services since mid-2003. The recovery appeared hesitant during the second quarter of 2004 and seemed to run out of steam at the beginning of 2005. An economic analyst can use the indicator to update a forecast of quarterly service production not just from one quarter to the next but also from month to month. Furthermore, it contains specific information with regard to the synthetic indicator of the business climate in the manufacturing industry and, therefore, contributes to the GDP forecast.