The survey is carried out in the framework of the joint harmonized EU Programme of business and consumer tendency surveys (the latest normative reference is the Commissionís decision COM (2006) 379 , 2006 July 12). The survey collects qualitative data on the current and expected cyclical situation of the manufacturing firms on monthly basis (e.g. assessments and expectations on firmís order books, production and liquidity conditions; assessments on stocks of finished products; expectations on firmís employment and selling prices), along with expectations on the Italian general economic situation. Quarterly, some other variables regarding the main aspects of the firmís general situation are investigated (production capacity, numbers of worked hours, new orders, stocks of commodities and unfinished products, export order books, the factors limiting the production, months of production secured and capacity utilization), along with some information about the firmís competitive position. The reporting unit and the sample unit is the firm. The target universe is made up by the Italian firms with five or more employees, classified in Section C of the NACE rev.2 classification. The survey is monthly. ISTAT manages the data collection by CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing). The sample is represented by a panel of about 4000 firms. The sample design is stratified by economic sectors (identified by the divisions of section C in NACE rev.2), geographic partitions and firm sizes (in terms of employees). The sampling frame is extracted by the official ASIA archive (the statistical archive of active enterprises elaborated by ISTAT). The confidence climate is built as an arithmetic average of the balances on the assessments on the order books and the stocks of finished products (with a negative sign) and the expectation on the production over the next 3 months. Monthly, the confidence climate index for the whole manufacturing sector, the four geographical areas (North-west, North-east, Centre, South and Islands) and for the main industrial groupings (MIGs, Consumer Goods, Intermediate Goods and Capital Goods) is calculated. All series are seasonally adjusted using the Tramo-Seats method.