Economic trend indicator surveys as a management tool

Date of publication: June 15, 1994


The aim of this paper is to study so-called economic trend indicator surveys and their relevance as tools to prognoses and forecasts. The history of economic trend surveys is long, although the 1960s and 1970s paved the way for the rising popularity of this instrument, made possible by the mounting computing power of electronic data processing. This development also opened up for the computation of complicated macroeconomic models under a number of different assumptions. Especially because Economic Trend Indicator Surveys, ETISs, (which are simple measures) are often referred to in conjunction with complicated macroeconomic models, and because comments are more often made by politicians and economists than by marketing people, a tendency to look upon the ETISs as dealing exclusively with the economic side of development and not with the market-oriented side seems to have evolved. This paper shows that ETIs are widely used by Danish companies in the budgeting planning process and that a wide variety of sources are used. Furthermore, an analysis of time series shows that, selected with care, ETIs can actually throw light on factors affecting economic development in the near future and thus be used as 'early warning' indicators.

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