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Le Inchieste Congiunturali dell'ISCO: aspetti metodologici; Chapter 1 of: Le inchieste dell'ISCO come strumento di analisi della congiuntura economica
[The ISCO short term surveys: methodological aspects]


Author Info

  • Martelli, Bianca Maria


The Business Tendency Surveys, performed by ISCO (Institute for Short-Term Economic Studies) for Italy, are part of the Joint Harmonised Business and Consumers Survey (BCS) program of the European Commission which cover manufacturing, construction, retail trade, service sectors and consumers. ISAE (formerly ISCO) is one of the three founder Institutes (with IFO in Germany and INSEE in France) of the project. BCS started to be conducted in manufacturing sector since early 60 th’s , progressively enlarging over the years the field of investigation to construction, consumers, investments, retail trade and services. Business Tendency Surveys aim to investigate the “confidence” of the economic operators by asking entrepreneurs and managers opinions on current trends and expectations for the near future, regarding both their own business and the general situation of the economy. Information collected is of a qualitative type, mainly with a three option ordinal scale. Only in some restricted cases, for variables that are not reported in conventional statistics, information collected is quantitative: percentages of capacity utilization or the number of months of production assured. Answers obtained from the survey are aggregated in the form of “balances” (differences between positive and negative answers). Balances are then used to build the confidence indicator as arithmetic mean of selected series, namely for manufacturing: order level, production expectation and stocks (with inverted sign). The time series of the manufacturing confidence indicator often represent a leading indicator of the industrial production and of the GDP. In this chapter, which is part of a more general (and unfortunately out of print) ISCO publication, the first synthetic but precise and organic discussion of all the surveys is presented. The history of the ISCO surveys is presented and all the aspects of carrying out a survey are described starting from universe to the frame list, the sampling design, the lay out of the questionnaire, the data collection technique, the data processing and weighting and the confidence indicators calculation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 16331.

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Date of creation: 1998
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Rassegna di Lavori dell'ISCO n.3, 1998.Anno 1(1998): pp. 13-67
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:16331

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Keywords: business and consumer tendency surveys; sampling design; sampling frame; sampling techniques; confidenc; qualitative information;

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Cited by:
  1. Giancarlo Bruno & Marco Malgarini, 2002. "An Indicator of Economic Sentiment for the Italian Economy," ISAE Working Papers, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY) 28, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY).
  2. Luciana Crosilla, 2006. "The seasonality of ISAE business and consumer surveys: methodological aspects and empirical evidence," ISAE Working Papers, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY) 68, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY).
  3. Bianca Maria Martelli & Gaia Rocchetti, 2006. "The ISAE Market Services Survey: Methodological Upgrading, Survey Reliability, First Empirical Results," ISAE Working Papers, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY) 71, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY).
  4. Enrico D’Elia & Bianca Martelli, 2003. "Estimation of Households Income from Bracketed Income Survey Data," ISAE Working Papers, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY) 35, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY).
  5. Malgarini, Marco & Margani, Patrizia & Martelli, Bianca Maria, 2005. "Re-engineering the ISAE manufacturing survey," MPRA Paper 42440, University Library of Munich, Germany.


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