Traditional analyzes of economic reality are often unsatisfactory as they are based on historical quantitative data, not only because of the limited number of variables observed and the usual lack of updating of some, but also by the low reliability of the forecasts. The weakness of the forecasts is due in large part to the fact that they have to be extrapolation of data from the past, under the assumption of a regularity and continuity of evolution recorded in previous periods, a circumstance that only occurs in moments of stability of the business cycle. It is enough to have information about the objective facts occurred, it is also necessary to know the attitude of economic agents about their interpretation of reality. In other words, opinion, expectations and intentions of the entrepreneurs.
Before starting with the description of the Industrial Situation Survey (ECI), it is necessary to explain the Framework in which it is elaborated and the reasons for its methodological evolution, since there is a
confusion, even among economic analysts of the true scope and meaning of this statistic which is part of the Common Harmonized Program of EU Economic Situation Surveys. These surveys provide relatively fast information on areas not covered by quantitative statistics and this information is, in general, of high quality since questions are related to issues that are very close to those interviewed, both in the case of the surveys of companies as well as consumers. There is a growing interest in the use of economic surveys of a qualitative or predict changes in the economic cycle. Quantitative statistics allow predictions to be made when the economy has a steady growth trend, but problems in trying to predict changes in economic evolution. Qualitative Business Surveys and consumers can be, especially in these periods of change, a very important complement of Quantitative statistics. Sometimes it is confused with statistical operations of another entity but that appear vaguely in the economic press (INE order book, confidence index of the Chambers of Trade, etc.)
Data can be subject to revisions.
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