Interpreting the CBI Service Sector Survey Jonathan Wood

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Interpreting the CBI Service Sector Survey
The September 2007 Answering Practices Survey
Jonathan Wood
Head of CBI Survey Management
Group
[email protected]
The September 2007 Answering Practices
Survey
• Addresses 2 main issues:
– What factors respondents take into account when
determining their answers
–How to correctly interpret survey results
• Presentation will focus on overall results covering
111 respondents, from a sample of 1,000
companies.
– A 69% response of normal response
–Survey was conducted by post
CBI Service Sector Survey
• Launched in November 1998
• Covers a broad range of services, grouped into
those selling to consumers, and those selling to
businesses (business and professional)
• The Total Service Sector data is used by the Bank
of England in informing its interest rate decisions
and in estimates of national services output
• Undertaken on a quarterly basis – Feb, May, Aug,
Nov
• Monthly version for EC undertaken since Sept 2002
Optimism
How respondents answer the question on
optimism
50
40
Compared to 3 months ago
On a cuurent basis
30
20
10
0
Combination of the two
Volume of business
Most important measures of volume of
business
300
Value of income
250
Number of transactions
200
Subjective assessment
150
Other
100
Number of hours billed
50
0
Assessing ‘normal’ levels of business
Most important benchmark in determining 'normal' business
volumes
400
Past level of work
350
300
250
200
150
100
50
0
Budgeted plans
Potential work
capacity
Average growth rates
of their business
Trends
How respondents answer questions on ‘trend’ over past 3 mon
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
From beginning to
end of 3 month
period
3 months as a whole
compared with
previous 3 months
3 months as a whole
compared with same
3 months a year ago
Some combination of
options
Answering ‘up’ or ‘down’ rather than ‘same’
% variation around no change required for answer of ‘up’ or ‘d
50
Up to 1%
40
1-2%
30
3-4%
5-8%
20
10
0
above 8%
Seasonal variation
Are respondents able to exclude seasonal variations in their a
100
80
60
40
20
0
Yes
No
Prices
For those price lists not revised at same time every year
50
40
Price adjustments
depend on what
market/ customers
will bear
Pricing behaviour
reflects cost changes
30
20
10
0
Try to hold prices but
adjust periodically
Use lower prices as
reward
The choice of online/email survey completion
Would respondents like online/email survey
completion in addition to the usual postal service?
100
80
60
40
20
0
Yes
No
Possible new survey questions
Questions suggested by respondents to extend survey
coverage:
• Marketing expenditure: ‘Do you expect to authorise more or less
marketing expenditure in the next twelve months than you authorised in
the past twelve months?’
• Profits: ‘What has been the trend in gross profits over the past three
months and what is the expected trend over the next three months?’
‘What has been the trend in net profits over the past three months and
what is the expected trend over the next three months?’
• Reasons for change to outlook: Provide a list options for respondents to
explain how they have changed their view of the outlook (both positive
and negative factors).
Conclusions
• 38% of respondents assess optimism compared to 3 months ago
• Value of income received is most important measure for volume of
business
• Respondents most commonly use a historical average when calculating
‘normal’ levels of business
• Over half of respondents answer trend questions based on 3 months as
a whole compared to previous 3 months
• Half of respondents consider a 3-4% variation around no change as a
trigger to answer ‘up’ or ‘down’ rather than ‘same’
• Over two-thirds of all respondents do take seasonal variations into
account when assessing changes in variables
• 59% of respondents do not revise their price lists at the same time every
year, with many adjusting their prices depending on what the
market/customer will bear
Interpreting the CBI Service Sector Survey
The September 2007 Answering Practices Survey
Jonathan Wood
Head of CBI Survey Management
Group
[email protected]
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