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Statistical presentation

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Consumption and Prices
Zdravka Bosanac
39 17 34 46

zbo@dst.dk

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Consumer Expectations Survey

Consumer monthly questions for: financial situation, general economic situation, price trends, unemployment, major purchases and savings. Consumer quarterly questions for: intention to buy a car, purchase or build a home, home improvements.

Data description

Each month the net figures for following consumer confidence indicators are published:

  • How is the financial situation of your household today compared with one year ago?
  • How do you think the financial situation of your household will be in a year compared with today?
  • How do you think the economic situation in Denmark is today compared with one year ago?
  • How do you think the economic situation in Denmark will be in a year compared with today?
  • Seen in the light of the economic situation do you think it is at present an advantage to make major purchases, such as TV sets, washing machines or similar, or it is better to wait?
  • How do you think the prices are today compared with one year ago?
  • Compared with the present situation how do you think the prices will develop during the next 12 months?
  • How do you think the level of unemployment will be in a year compared with today?
  • In the next 12 months how much will your household spend on major purchases compared with the last 12 months?
  • Do you consider it to be reasonable to put money aside in order to save up in the present economic situation?
  • Do you expect to put money aside in order to save up over the next 12 months? (Excluding savings such as repayments on priority loans and other loans)
  • How is the present financial situation of your household, or in other words: Do you spend more than you earn, or do you find it difficult to make ends meet, or are you able to put money aside?

General method: The information is collected through the so-called omnibus surveys. At present an omnibus survey consists of a sample of about 1,500 persons, drawn from a population of persons age 16-74 years residing in Denmark.

As it is not possible to interview all 1,500 persons, each completed interview is given a personal weight, which partly corrects the effects of non-sampling and non-response and partly ensures that if you sum up all completed interviews you end up with a number of persons in tables and analyses corresponding to a number of persons of the age between 16 and 74 years. The questions asked to the persons are being enumerated with this weight, as well as weighted figures are being used at calculations of percentages.

However, a number of variables do not concern the individual person, but the family he/she is living with.

In these cases each respondent who is answering is being given a family weight, which ensures that the families with different numbers of persons aged 16 years or over are represented in the sample with varying probability. A family is defined as one or several persons between 16 and 74 years who live in the same accommodation and are related (includes also cohabiting couples) and their children, though there can only be one married or cohabiting couple in the family. The sum of the family weight for all completed interviews, gives the number of families in Denmark that have persons aged between 16 and 74 years. The number of families is thus an estimate for the random test.

Alternatives of answers and weights:

  • How has the financial situation of your household changed over the last 12 months?
  • Got a lot better 100
  • Got a little better 50
  • Stayed the same 0
  • Got a little worse -50
  • Got a lot worse -100
  • How do you expect the financial position of your household to change over the newt 12 months? It will¿
  • Get a lot better 100
  • Get a little better 50
  • Stay the same 0
  • Get a little worse -50
  • Get a lot worse -100
  • How do you think the general economic situation in the country has changed over the past 12 months? It has¿
  • Got a lot better 100
  • Got a little better 50
  • Stayed the same 0
  • Got a little worse -50
  • Got a lot worse -100
  • How do you expect the general economic situation in the country to develop over the next 12 months? It will¿
  • Got a lot better 100
  • Got a little better 50
  • Stayed the same 0
  • Got a little worse -50
  • Got a lot worse -100
  • In view of the general economic situation, do you think that now it is the right moment for people to make major purchases such as furniture, electrical/electronic devices, etc.?
  • Yes, it is the right moment now 100
  • It is neither the right moment nor the wrong moment 0
  • No, it is not the right moment now -100
  • How do you think that consumer prices have developed over the last 12 months? They have¿
  • Risen a lot 100
  • Risen moderately 50
  • Risen slightly 0
  • Stayed about the same -50
  • Fallen -100
  • By comparison with the past 12 months, how do you expect that consumer prices will develop in the next 12 months? They will¿
  • Increase more rapidly 100
  • Increase at the same rate 50
  • Increase at a slower rate 0
  • Stay about the same -50
  • Fall -100
  • How do you expect the number of people unemployed in this country to change over the next 12 months? The number will¿
  • Increase sharply 100
  • Increase slightly 50
  • Remain the same 0
  • Fall slightly -50
  • Fall sharply -100
  • Compared to the past 12 months, do you expect to spend more or less money on major purchases (furniture, electrical/electronic devices, etc.) over the next 12 months?
  • Much more 100
  • A little more 50
  • About the same 0
  • A little less -50
  • Much less -100
  • In view of the general economic situation, do you think that now is¿?
  • A very good moment to save 100
  • A fairly good moment to save 50
  • Not a good moment to save -50
  • A very bad moment to save -100
  • Over the next 12 months, how likely is it that you save any money?
  • Very likely 100
  • Fairly likely 50
  • Not likely -50
  • Not at all likely -100
  • Which of these statements best describes the current financial situation of your household?
  • We are saving a lot 100
  • We are saving a little 50
  • We are just managing to make ends meet on our income 0
  • We are having to draw on our savings -50
  • We are running into debt -100

Net figures:

The answers are being weighted into a net figure.

Consumer confidence indicator:

The consumer confidence indicator is calculated as a simple average of the net figures for the questions 1-5.

Decimals: Until December 2004 the net figure for the various parts of the consumer confidence survey has been calculated and published as whole figures. But in accordance with a request from the EU-commission the net figures of the consumer expectations survey and the consumer confidence indicator are being calculated and delivered with one decimal as from January 2005.

Seasonal adjustment

The consumer expectation survey is not seasonal adjusted as it has been checked for its suitability to be seasonal adjusted with a negative result.

Classification system

Respondents are categorized according to five criteria: income, occupation, education, age and sex.

Sector coverage

Consumer survey is compiled for consumers´ sector.

Statistical concepts and definitions

Consumer Confidence Indicator: The economic situation as perceived by consumers at a given time, concerning both the general economic situation in Denmark and the financial situation of the family.

Net Figure: An arithmetic average of balances i.e. the difference between positive and negative answers. The answers are weighted into a net figure.

Statistical unit

Net figures.

Statistical population

Persons in the age group from 16-74 years residing in Denmark.

Reference area

Denmark.

Time coverage

Statistics covers the period from 1974 henceforward.

Base period

Not relevant for these statistics.

Unit of measure

The information is collected through the so-called omnibus surveys. The data are compiled as arithmetic average of balances i.e. the difference between positive and negative answers. The answers are being weighted into a net figure.

Reference period

The reference period is the survey month, where the data collection takes place in the first two weeks of the month. A few additional questions are added every quarter to the survey.

Frequency of dissemination

Monthly.

Legal acts and other agreements

The Act of Statistics Denmark. The work is carried out in accordance with contract with the EU (ECFIN).

Cost and burden

A sample of 1,500 persons is questioned each month over the telephone. The interviews are fully conducted with approx. 67 %.

Comment

Additional information can be obtained by Statistics Denmark.