The Business Confidence survey in Retail Trade falls within the goal of a wide range of cyclical surveys harmonised at European level and for which ISTAT has been the Italian partner since January 2011.
The survey aims to gather and to timely disseminate the opinions (assessments and expectations over the next 3 months) of the sector operators on cyclical trends in the main economic variables in the retail trade. The principal phenomena recorded on a monthly basis concern, in particular, assessments on the current business situation, level of stocks, suppliers’ prices as well as expectations (over three successive months) regarding the volume of orders, the workforce, selling prices and sale volumes.
The enterprise is the reporting unit and the analysis unit. The target universe is composed of all the enterprises classified in the division 45 (all groups) and the division 47 (only groups from 47.1 to 47.7, inclusive) of the statistical classification of economic activities EC-NACE Rev. 2.
The sample design is a random sample with a panel stratified by class of employees, geographic division and main kind of economic activity. The sampling frame is based on ASIA archive (statistical archive of active firms). The survey is addressed to a panel of 1000 firms.
In line with the methodology adopted at EU level, on a monthly basis, the indicators of the business climate in the sector will be processed considering this element both as a whole and broken down into the two categories of traditional and large-scale retailing. In particular, the indicators are defined as the arithmetical average of the balances (seasonally adjusted) pertaining to the questions on both the present and future business situation and the assessments of stocks (with the mathematical sign inverted).
All series are seasonally adjusted using the Tramo-Seats method.