Leading indicators

OECD Workshop on Business and Consumer Tendency Surveys, Rome, 19 September 2006


Final draft report (pdf)
Draft agenda (pdf)
Draft list of participants
Previous workshops

The workshop was held back-to-back with the 28th CIRET Conference 2006, Rome and the workshop took place at the headquarters of the Bank of Italy, Via Nazionale 91, 00184 Rome.

Draft agenda

Workshop objective
The main objective of the one day workshop will be to present work undertaken at the national and international levels following the joint European Commission (EC) - OECD Workshop on International Development of Business and Consumer Tendency Surveys held in Brussels in November 2005. The aim will be to ensure that the one-day workshop will complement both the discussion on more analytical issues during the actual CIRET Conference and work undertaken by the European Commission.

The workshop is envisaged as an intermediate process leading up to more in-depth studies on some of the areas of future work identified at the November 2005 meeting leading up to the next joint EC-OECD Workshop that may be held in the second half of 2007.


Welcome, introductions and background 
OECD (Denis Ward), European Commission (Nathalie Darnaut)
ppt presentation 

  • Outcomes from the joint EC – OECD Workshop in November 2005
  • Relevant issues from the recent meeting of the OECD Short-term Economic Statistics Working Party (STESWP)
  • Dissemination of BTS / COS statistics in the context of the recently developed OECD Statistical Information System
  • Recent and future EC initiatives
Session 1 –  Recently developed international guidelines for opinion surveys

Presentation of the final version of the opinion survey international guidelines and recommendations  discussed and endorsed at the joint EC - OECD Workshop in Brussels in November 2005. These cover recommendations for the improvement of: response rates and minimisation of respondent load; and harmonisation of survey operations and technical design.

Discussion in September will focus on the recommendations themselves and OECD proposals for the incorporation of these standards into the Organisation's work on business and consumer opinion surveys, in particular, as a basis for comparative assessment of national surveys. National agencies are also welcomed to suggest specific areas for future work that are relevant / specific to any of the guidelines. Some of the following national presentations touch on issues of recommended practice dealt with by the standards.

09.45-10.30  Background to the development of the guidelines, OECD (Denis Ward)
Paper: Recently developed international guidelines for opinion surveys  ppt presentation
Review of the guidelines and their intended use by the OECD and the EC
Discussion: national perceptions of guidelines and their possible implementation: suggestions for future work.

Further refinements of BER analysis of BTS response behaviour, South African BER
(Murray Pellisier)
Paper: Evaluating the impact of disaggregated survey panel responses on Business Tendency Survey Results
ppt presentation

Discussion – questions on national presentation, discussion of similar analyses by other national agencies and possible future work in this area
11.15-11.35 Coffee break
Session 2 – Recent OECD work on standardized confidence indicators and zone aggregates and compilation / dissemination of composite leading indicators (CLIs) for large emerging non-member economies (NMEs) and new recent OECD Member countries


To present recent work in these two areas. CLIs have been developed for Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russian Federation, South Africa, Korea, New Zealand, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovak Republic.


Presentation, OECD (Ronny Nilsson & Gyorgy Gyomai)                                                    


12.30-14.00 Lunch
Session 3 – Recent developments in national statistical offices and institutes

To present recent national initiatives and developments in a range of areas such as data collection, Internet survey practices, consumer surveys and consumer psychology, response analyses, etc. Subsequent discussion will also include identification of possible areas of future work at the international level.

Participants are therefore requested to review work they may have done in these areas in preparation for the discussion.


Presentation of results of IFO survey of BTS institutes Internet survey practices. This is the first study of such practices worldwide, IFO Germany (Anna Stangl)
Paper: Internet business tendency surveys ppt presentation


Extension of internet data collection by INSEE for business tendency surveys, INSEE
(Philippe Scherrer)
ppt presentation


1. Long-run biases in consumer sentiment. Micro evidence from European Surveys, ISAE Italy (Marco Malgarini, Maurizio Bovi)
Paper: Long-run biases in consumer sentiment: micro evidence from European Surveys 
ppt presentation

2. New ISAE questions on trade credit
Paper: New ISAE questions on trade credit
ppt presentation

16.00-16.20 Coffee break

Session 4 – Developments in consumer opinion surveys 


Outline of a proposed consumer opinion survey to collect information from consumers on their current knowledge of the economic and social situation of their country and their sources for such information, OECD (Enrico Giovannini)
Paper: Statistics, knowledge and policy: what do we know about what people know?

Session 5 – Meeting conclusion and wrapup

Review of meeting conclusions and recommendations for future work, OECD (Denis Ward)

Other business 


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