Business issues


Below are some answers to commonly asked questions about the CBI surveys. If you have any further questions, not covered below, please do contact the Survey Management Group

Are the CBI business surveys only open to CBI members?

No, the surveys are open to both member and non-member companies.

Do the CBI business surveys cover both private and public sector activity?

No, the CBI surveys are solely concerned with capturing data from the UK private sector.

Are the surveys mandatory?

No, the CBI surveys are voluntary by invitation. The CBI relies upon the invaluable support and goodwill of companies to respond on a regular basis.

At what level are the surveys completed?

At senior board, executive or functional director/proprietor/owner level.

Are the surveys confidential and secure?

Yes, each respondent is afforded the highest degree of confidentiality and security and only staff working in the CBI Survey Management Group are privy to participant identity and identifiable individual company data.

Is the main methodology currently postal?

Yes, the surveys are postal at present and responses can be received by fax, scanned pdf and over the phone.  Plans for web-enabling the business surveys are in the pipeline - with respondent security top of the list of imperatives.

Are the surveys qualitative or quantitative?

The business surveys are qualitative, requiring the short and medium-term subjective assessments of the business community.

Are the surveys easy to complete?

Yes, each questionnaire requires ticks only and take between 1 minute and 10 minutes to complete.

What incentives does the CBI provide for regular respondents?

Each respondent will receive an overview of their main sector and individual sector.

Are the survey results revised over time?

No, the survey results are never revised and remain each month and quarter as a unique snap-shot of trends in the UK private sector economy.

Are the survey results seasonally adjusted?

No, the survey results are not seasonally adjusted. However, harmonised CBI survey data supplied to the European Commission is seasonally adjusted in line with the methodology underpinning the ESI {European Sentiment Indicator}.

What kind of survey results are published?

Results are published at the headline total sample level as well as the comprehensive individual sector level. All data is presented on a completely anonymous basis and in the event of a low responding sector, results are not published, to ensure that statistical secrecy is not impinged.

Are the CBI surveys followed by the media, business and the key institutions?

Yes, our surveys are keenly anticipated both in the media and by business in general. Additionally, the Bank of England and Her Majesty's Treasury take a keen interest in our data alongside business survey data provided by other private sector business organisations. Furthermore, our survey data is available to companies and analysts via ThomsonReuters, Bloomberg, Factset, Global Insight, Haver Analytics and Macrobond Financial.

Do the CBI business surveys allow for breaks in respondent participation?

While very regular participation is encouraged, companies are of course free to opt-in and opt-out from the survey panel. The Survey Management Group appreciates the valuable company time that executives give to completing our surveys and also does regular work to monitor non-response characteristics.



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