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Individual Responses to Business Tendency Surveys and the Forecasting of Manufacturing Production

By Olivier Biau, Hélène Erkel-Rousse and Nicolas Ferrari

Abstract

We compare the performances of balances of opinion to those of indicators introduced by Mitchell, Smith and Weale for the one-quarter forecasting of the manufacturing production growth rate. These indicators take into account the heterogeneity of the response behaviours of the entrepreneurs taking part in the Business Tendency Survey. The responses which are the most tightly linked to the overall fluctuations of manufactured production contribute to the variability of these indicators to a larger extent than the responses of the other surveyed. The application of Mitchell, Smith and Weale to British and German data seems to suggest that these indicators perform better in short-term forecasting than the balances of opinion, but their application to Swedish and Portuguese data suggests not. In our study carried out using French data, their predictive performances turn out to be inferior or, at best, equivalent to those of the balances of opinion.Business Tendency Surveys, Quantification, Dis-Aggregate Indicators, Short-Term Forecasting

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