Leading indicators

Third Joint European Commission-OECD Workshop on International Development of Business and Consumer Tendency Surveys, Brussels, 12 - 13 November 2007


Draft agenda (pdf)

Information for participants

List of participants

Previous workshops

The venue for the meeting will be: Crowne Plaza Europa Hotel, Rue de la Loi, 107, 1040 Brussels

Participation at this workshop is by invitation only.  For further information, please contact [email protected]

Draft Agenda

Workshop objective

The main objective of the two day workshop was to discuss work carried out in the framework of the OECD task forces on the priority tasks identified at the second joint European Commission - OECD Workshop on International Development of Business and Consumer Tendency Surveys held in Brussels in November 2005 and subsequent development work defined at the 2006 OECD workshop in Rome.


Monday 12 November

09.30 – 09.50 Welcome and introduction - EC and OECD

Session 1. Analyses of the response characteristics of surveys conducted by national agencies

The report of the Task force on the improvement of response rates and minimisation of respondent load that presented its findings at the 2005 joint meeting highlighted the fact that the achievement of a satisfactory response rate is a key factor in the compilation of high quality opinion survey data. Many of the strategies presented by national agencies in 2005 were imbedded in the recommendations of the Task force, and given the importance of this issue, further national presentations will be given in November 2007.

09.50 – 10.00 Background and introduction to topic - Richard McKenzie, OECD
ppt presentation  


10.00 – 10.15 Impact of late respondents on Business Surveys in South Africa - Murray Pellissier, BER South Africa
ppt presentation  


10.15 – 10.30 Analysis of response behaviour for the CBI Services Sector Survey - Jonathan Wood, CBI, UK ppt presentation

10:30 – 10:45 New statistics of BTS Panel - Serguey Tsukhlo, Institute for the Economy in Transition, Russia
ppt presentation

10.45 – 11.00 Discussion and future work 
11.00 – 11.20 Coffee break

Session 2. Use of survey data for cyclical analysis and forecasting

This agenda item will present recent work done at the national and international levels with business, consumer and investment surveys. The topic will highlight the benefits and usefulness of such surveys for cyclical analysis and forecasting.


11.20 – 11.30 Introduction and background to topic - Nathalie Darnaut, European Commission
11.30 – 11.50  The harmonised EU investment survey: What can it tell us about investment growth in the euro area? Christian Gayer and Roberta Friz, European Commission ppt presentation

11.50 – 12.10  Where is the true forecast horizon for inflationary expectations in the EU?  Staffan Lindén, European Commission ppt presentation
12.10 – 12.30  Short-term forecasting of GDP growth rate using the BTS in industry and services: An out-of-sample analysis - Hélène Erkel-Rousse, INSEE France ppt presentation

12.30 – 14.00  Lunch

Session 2. Use of survey data for cyclical analysis and forecasting (cont.)

14.00 – 14.20  Construction and retail trade survey ISAE, Italy

ppt presentation
14.20 – 14.35 Discussion and future work on topic 

Session 3. International surveys on “What citizens know about the progress of their country”

This agenda item will present and discuss the results of the first co-ordinated international survey on what people know about key statistical indicators produced by official statistics. These data were collected in response to the proposal launched at the 2006 workshop in Rome and were first presented at the Second OECD World Forum on “Statistics, Knowledge and Policy” held in Istanbul, Turkey, on 27-30 June 2007. This agenda item will also include discussion on future work on this subject.

14.35 – 14.40 Background and introduction to topic Denis Ward, OECD
14.40 – 15.00 Results of first co-ordinated international survey on what people know about key statistical indicators produced by official statistics Marco Malgarini, ISAE, Italy
ppt presentation
15.00 – 15.20 What Consumers Know about the Official Rates of Unemployment, Inflation, and GDP Richard Curtin, University of Michigan, United States

ppt presentation

15.20 – 15.40 Proposals for future international surveys on what people know about official statistics Enrico Giovannini, OECD

15.40 – 16.05 Discussion and future work 

16.05 – 16.25  Coffee break

Session 4. Design and implementation of internet based surveys and use of visual analog scales

Previous Workshops attached high importance to the preparation of a draft manual / handbook on the design and implementation of internet based opinion surveys. Unfortunately, the commencement of detailed work on the manual has been delayed. This agenda item will present national work related to the design and implementation of internet based surveys and discuss proposals for the creation of a task force to undertake work on the manual over 2007 – 2008.

16.25 – 16.35 Introduction and background to topic - Ronny Nilsson, OECD
16.35 – 16.55 Visual analog scale – A new measurement method of economic expectations - Anna Stangl, IFO, Germany

16.55 – 17.15 Internet survey experiences in Hungary - Raymund Petz, GKI Economic Research Co, Budapest ppt presentation
17.15 – 17.30 Discussion and future work on Internet business surveys - Anna Stangl and Ronny Nilsson


19.30    Dinner at restaurant (at participant expense) 




Session 5. Implications for national source data from recent current period performance (revisions analysis) of the OECD’s composite leading indicator (CLI)


In recent years in quantitative short-term economic statistics there is greater acceptance that the implementation of a sound revisions policy by agencies disseminating statistics is a key element of good governance. Key recommendations on revisions were promulgated by the OECD in the Organisation’s Data and Metadata Presentation and Reporting Handbook published in late 2006. The OECD has also developed its Original Release Data and Revisions Database that provides access to time series data for 21 key economic variables published each month (from February 1999) in the Main Economic Indicators (MEI). This allows users to perform real-time data analysis of econometric models and statisticians to study the magnitude and direction of subsequent revisions to published statistics.

09.30 – 09.40 Introduction and background to topic - Ronny Nilsson, OECD
09.40 – 10.00 Revisions analysis of OECD composite leading indicator (CLI) and implications for CLI source data, in particular, on national business and  consumer opinion survey data - Emmanuelle Guidetti, OECD ppt presentation

10.00 – 10.15 Discussion and future work on revisions of opinion survey data 


Session 6.  Presentation of studies on other topics 


This session presents recent work of a number of national agencies and identifies avenues / issues for possible future work by the Workshop in the evolution of business and consumer opinion surveys.

10.15 – 10.35 Volatility as an indication of uncertainty in the realizations of industrial business expectations - Murray Pellissier, BER South Africa

ppt presentation

10.35 – 10.55 Evaluating alternative index designs for the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey and using them to assess economic conditions - Fiona Sigalla, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, US

ppt presentation

10.55 – 11.15  Coffee break

Session 6.  Presentation of studies on other topics (cont.) 

11.15– 11.30 Discussion 
11.30 – 11.50 New composite indicators based on KOF surveys - Richard Etter and Sibylle Gübeli, KOF Swiss Economic Institute

ppt presentation

11.50 – 12.10 A study on question types in BSI questionnaires - Lee In Gyu, Bank of Korea


12.10 – 12.30 Discussion

12.30 – 14.00  Lunch


Session 7.  Development of tools, etc., for the presentation / communication of opinion survey data in publications, websites, press releases, etc. 


This topic parallels similar initiatives being undertaken by some national statistical institutes, central banks, etc., over recent years in the area of quantitative statistics to give more value-added to the basic data they collect and disseminate in order to reach new audiences and provide an enhanced service to existing users.


14.00 – 14.10 Introduction and background to topic - Denis Ward, OECD
14.10 – 14.25 Dissemination issues for the TANKAN - Koichi Nakahata, Bank of Japan

ppt presentation

14.25 – 14.40 Outcomes of OECD survey on current national dissemination practices and recent innovations in providing users with statistical output - Denis Ward, OECD ppt presentation
14.40 – 15.00 Business Cycle Clock - Gernot Nerb, IFO, Germany ppt presentation
15.00 – 15.20 The Economic Climate Tracer: A tool to visualize the cyclical stance of the economy using survey data - Christian Gayer, European Commission

ppt presentation
15.20 – 15.35 Adobe Flex System - Denis Ward, OECD

ppt presentation

15.35 – 15.50 Discussion and possible future work on data dissemination tools and practices 

15.50 – 16.10 Coffee break

Session 8. Publication of OECD Data and Metadata Reporting and Presentation Handbook


The OECD Data and Metadata Reporting and Presentation Handbook published in 2006 was developed under the auspices of the Organisation’s Short-term Economic Statistics Working Party (STESWP). This agenda item will provide an overview of the development over the Handbook and its contents. Discussion will focus on the relevance of the recommendations in the Handbook to opinion surveys.


16.10 – 16.30 Overview of contents of Handbook and its uses for quantitative short-term economic statistics. Denis Ward, OECD
ppt presentation

16.30 – 16.40 Discussion on relevance of handbook recommendations to opinion surveys and options for future use 
Session 9 – Meeting conclusions and future work


16.40 – 17.00 Review of meeting conclusions and recommendations - Denis Ward, OECD and Nathalie Darnaut, European Commission

Future meetings (back to back with CIRET, Santiago, Chile, in 2008) - Denis Ward and Daniel Bloesch, ETH, Switzerland

Other business 


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