CBI: External scrutiny, quality and usage
Business issues

External scrutiny, quality and usage

The CBI business surveys are widely used by the UK Treasury, Government departments and the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee to assist in the evaluation of the UK economy

Want to take part in our business surveys? Contact the team

These surveys receive high profile coverage in the national press and broadcast media and are widely used by industry, business analysts and academia.

The CBI publishes a wide portfolio of publications based upon the results of these surveys and the harmonised data for the industry and retail surveys are published on a regular basis in these publications. 

  • CBI survey data is not revised at any time. The data is processed direct from the return of the response and placed into various aggregations.
  • CBI survey data is not seasonally adjusted and in conformity with European Commission requirements, the respondents are asked to exclude seasonal variations from their response.
  • The overall CBI assessment of the macro-economy which includes detailed information from our surveys is discussed on a regular basis by the CBI Economic Affairs Committee made up of senior business people from all major sectors of the economy, in CBI membership.
  • CBI survey data can be accessed by researchers and academic or institutional bodies at any time. Considerable use of the CBI survey data is made by The Bank of England and the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR). The CBI has been able to enter into co-operative exercises with NIESR to assist in the detailed studies of the value of disaggregated survey data (1987-1997) by Weale, Mitchell and Smith. Latterly, the CBI has collaborated with the ONS and NIESR to assist in the investigation of the value of official and private sector survey data in determining and evolving flash indicators of GDP/Inflation. Significant work undertaken by the CBI Survey Management Group in 2005 and 2006 on this project heralded an important period in the econometric analysis of our survey information by academic bodies which are funded by the Economic and Social Research Council {ESRC} and The Bank of England. This cooperation with the research needs of the NIESR has resulted in the clearance by the CBI of the finalised version of "Qualitative Business Surveys: Signal or Noise?" authored by Silvia Lui, James Mitchell and Martin Weale. August 16th, 2010, which is to be published in the journal of the Royal Statistical Society. The CBI Survey Management Group and Economic Analysis Groups also played a very active role in the public awareness of this research work by hosting a major seminar entitled "Qualitative Business Surveys: Signal or Noise?" which was held on Monday 10th March 2008 and which was co-chaired by Martin Weale CBE, then Director of the NIESR and Jonathan Wood, Head of CBI Survey Management Group. 

Business scrutiny of CBI business survey data

  • CBI survey data is a key part of the discussion process of the Economic Affairs Committee where the assessment of the macro-economy is developed. The CBI Chief Economic Adviser and his economist colleagues also regularly discuss CBI business survey data with the Chief Economists of the Bank of England and HM Treasury.
  • CBI Business Survey data has featured extensively in Bank of England research and analysis publications - the very latest being "What can we learn from surveys of business expectations" Quarterly Bank Bulletin 2010 Q3 by Tracy Wheeler of the Bank's Conjunctural Assessment and Projections Division.
  • CBI Economists are able to exploit this data for the benefit of member briefings around the CBI regional network.


 Want to participate in our business surveys? How to get involved