Public opinion surveys have become progressively incorporated into systems of official statistics. Surveys of the economic climate are usually qualitative because they collect opinions of businesspeople and/or experts about the long-term indicators described by a number of variables. In such cases the responses are expressed in ordinal numbers, that is, the respondents verbally report, for example, whether during a given trimester the sales or the new orders have increased, decreased or remained the same as in the previous trimester. These data allow to calculate the percent of respondents in the total population (results are extrapolated), who select every one of the three options. Data are often presented in the form of an index calculated as the difference between the percent of those who claim that a given variable has improved in value and of those who claim that it has deteriorated. As in any survey conducted on a sample the question of the measurement of the sample error of the results has to be addressed, since the error influences both the reliability of the results and the calculation of the sample size adequate for a desired confidence interval. The results presented here are based on data from the Survey of the Business Climate (Encuesta de Clima Empresarial) developed through the collaboration of the Statistical Institute of Catalonia (Institut d’Estadística de Catalunya) with the Chambers of Commerce (Cámaras de Comercio) of Sabadell and Terrassa.
Manuela Alcañiz (RISC-IREA); Àlex Costa; Montserrat Guillén (RISC-IREA); Carme Luna; Cristina Rovira