CBI: European harmonised business survey programme
Business issues

European harmonised business survey programme

The CBI has supplied its business survey data to the European Commission for over 28 years and has provided harmonisation, where possible, across its questionnaires

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Harmonisation is conducted on the basis of survey field work, periodicity, trend cycle periods, data output structures, NACE classifications, questions and other requirements.  The European Commission collates the results of surveys undertaken by pan -European private and public sector data providers.

In 2010, in accordance with European Commission requirements, the CBI Survey Management Group in association with the CBI Economic Analysis Group undertook the complete conversion of its harmonised classification systems to reflect the changes brought about by the NACE Rev:2 requirement. This was an extensive project that involved significant data testing, restructuring of our survey datasets and the supply of detailed back-casting data across all the surveys cited below, in line with European Commission requirements. Further details of this extensive exercise will follow in due course.

In 2009, at the height of the global financial crisis, the CBI was able to assist the historical data research work of DGii Ecfin by supplying it with key data from the credit crunch questions taken from the CBI/PwC Financial Services Survey. At the same time, we were able to provide harmonised pre-1980 historical business survey data to DGii ECFIN, going back to the early 1960s to assist in further complementary research on the European Sentiment Indicator. 

The CBI supplies data to the European Commission on a regular basis for the following surveys:

  • Industry {taken from the CBI's Industrial Trends Survey of UK manufacturing}
  • Retail/motor trades {taken from the CBI's Distributive Trades Survey of retail, wholesale and motor trades sectors}
  • Investment {data derived from the European Commission survey that is sent to the CBI Industrial Trends Survey sample}
  • Services {taken from the CBI Service Sector Survey, covering business, professional and consumer sectors}

The CBI Survey Management Group programme of survey field periods conforms to the periodicity parameters set by DGii ECFIN and the surveys are always conducted and the final data delivered within the relevant dates. Minor variations to the survey field periods will occur naturally in relation to public holiday periods such as Easter and Christmas or where it is deemed necessary to despatch or calculate a survey to avoid unnecessary disruption to its process from external factors.

Access the European Commission's  business and consumer survey pages to find out more about the harmonized programme of surveys.

The CBI acknowledges the European Union's financial support for the technical development and regular supply of the Industrial Trends, Retail Trades, service sector and investment intentions Survey data.

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