CBI: Industrial Trends survey
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Industrial Trends survey

The Industrial Trends Survey is conducted on a monthly and quarterly basis and covers 38 sectors of UK manufacturing industry at chief executive level

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The longest-running UK private sector qualitative business tendency survey, it celebrated its 50th anniversary in July 2008. The regional manufacturing dimension is derived from the Industrial Trends Survey as the Regional Trends Survey, providing detailed survey data on the standard UK government regions. Furthermore, the results for the SME component of the quarterly survey are published on a regular basis.

This survey is conducted on a monthly and quarterly basis. The monthly survey began in 1975 and is carried out each February, March, May, June, August, September, November and December. The same sample of manufacturing firms is used each month and the same degree of individual industry data is prepared.

The survey offers a wealth of information, with the results weights and disaggregated by three employment size groups (1-199, 200-499, and over 500), three market sectors (investment, intermediate and consumer goods) and a comprehensive range of broad industry and individual industry results, with separate results published for Scotland and Wales. The results for small and medium-sized firms are published separately following the release of the quarterly survey.

The survey is classified according to the official Standard Industrial Classification (SIC 2007) and the survey weights are updated on an annual basis.

The quarterly survey conducted in January, April, July and October covers optimism regarding the general and export business situation, investment, capacity, domestic and export order books, numbers employed, output, deliveries, stocks, prices, constraints to output, constraints on investment, competitiveness regarding domestic, EU and non-EU markets and innovation and training.

The monthly survey covers domestic and export orders, stocks, price and output expectations.

The processed responses convert to raw weighted data from which are derived percentage balances. The percentage balance statistic is the figure derived from the difference between the weighted percentage of companies answering in the positive, minus the percentage replying in the negative. This allows a single number with a plus or minus value to thus represent the answer to any question. Since most of the questions refer to changes in the level of a variable, the absolute value of a balance will give a guide to the change in the variable concerned.

All participants receive a free digest of the latest results of the survey.

The CBI was proud to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the CBI Industrial Trends Survey of UK Manufacturing in July 2008. The Industrial Trends Survey is the longest-running private sector indicator of manufacturing in the UK. This occasion was accompanied by a special anniversary report, 50: Not Out which included key perspectives from industry, academia, the Bank of England, HM Treasury and other users.

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