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The quest for the best consumer confidence indicator

Author

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  • Jonsson, Andreas
  • Lindén, Staffan

Abstract

Out of 11 questions included in the EU harmonised consumer questionnaire, it is possible to construct 2 047 different consumer confidence indicators. We search through all these indicators in order to find the single indicator that has the highest correlation with private consumption growth. Moreover, we contrast this indicator to the current Consumer Confidence Indicator used by the European Commission, and some alternative indicators; also in terms of their predictive power of private consumption. The focus of the analysis is thereby on how to best exploit the information content of the current set of questions included in the harmonised consumer questionnaire, while other methodological aspects of the construction of the indicator is left aside. In this context, we test the hypothesis that an indicator based on questions related to the household, rather than the general economy, would prove informative. It seems reasonable to assume that respondents to the surveys have better knowledge of their own economic situation than they have of the general economic situation in their country. We find that this "micro" indicator, as well as an optimal indicator that takes into account the specifics of all EU member states, outperform the current Consumer Confidence Indicator. Both these indicators also perform better than an indicator based on the popular factor methodology.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonsson, Andreas & Lindén, Staffan, 2009. "The quest for the best consumer confidence indicator," MPRA Paper 25515, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:25515
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/25515/1/MPRA_paper_25515.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Christian Gayer & Julien Genet, 2006. "Using factor models to construct composite indicators from BCS data - a comparison with European Commission confidence indicators," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 240, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Gayer & Alessandro Girardi & Andreas Reuter, 2016. "Replacing Judgment by Statistics: Constructing Consumer Confidence Indicators on the basis of Data-driven Techniques. The Case of the Euro Area," Working Papers LuissLab 16125, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli.
    2. Roland Döhrn & Tobias Kitlinski & Martin Micheli & Torsten Schmidt & Simeon Vosen & György Barabas & Heinz Gebhardt & Lina Zimmermann, 2010. "Die wirtschaftliche Entwicklung im Inland zur Jahresmitte 2010 - Aufschwung verliert an Fahrt," RWI Konjunkturbericht, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, pages 46, 09.
    3. Döhrn, Roland & Barabas, György & Gebhardt, Heinz & Kitlinski, Tobias & Micheli, Martin & Schmidt, Torsten & Vosen, Simeon & Zimmermann, Lina, 2010. "Die wirtschaftliche Entwicklung im Inland: Aufschwung verliert an Fahrt," RWI Konjunkturberichte, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, vol. 61(2), pages 37-82.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumer confidence; private consumption; predictive power;

    JEL classification:

    • E27 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E29 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Other
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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