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Which survey indicators are useful for monitoring consumption? Evidence from European countries

  • W. Jos Jansen

    (Monetary and Economic Policy Department, De Nederlandsche Bank, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

  • Niek J. Nahuis

    (Economic Policy Department, Ministry of Finance, The Hague, The Netherlands)

This paper assesses the information content of two survey indicators for consumption developments in the near future for eight European countries in the period 1985-1998. Empirical work on this topic typically focuses on consumer confidence, the perceptions of buyers of consumption goods. This paper examines whether perceptions of sellers of consumption goods, measured by retail trade surveys, may also improve short-term monitoring of consumption. We find that both consumer confidence and retailer confidence embody valuable information, when analysed in isolation. For France, Italy and Spain we conclude that adding retail confidence does not improve the indicator model once consumer confidence has been included. For the UK the reverse case is obtained. For the remaining four countries we show that combining consumer sentiment and retail trade confidence into a composite indicator leads to optimal results. Our results suggest that incorporating information from retail trade surveys may offer significant benefits for the analysis of short-term prospects of consumption. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/for.903
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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Forecasting.

Volume (Year): 23 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 89-98

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Handle: RePEc:jof:jforec:v:23:y:2004:i:2:p:89-98
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/2966

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  1. A. Bayar & K. Mc Morrow, 1999. "Determinants of private consumption," European Economy - Economic Papers 135, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  2. Batchelor, Roy & Dua, Pami, 1998. "Improving macro-economic forecasts: The role of consumer confidence," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 71-81, March.
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