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Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index: Methodology

The index, produced by Langer Research Associates in New York, is derived from telephone interviews with a random sample of about 250 consumers a week aged 18 or over, and is based on a four-week moving average of 1,000 responses. The percentage of households with negative views on the economy, personal finances and buying climate is subtracted from the share with positive outlooks and the difference is divided by 3. The results can range from 100, indicating every participant in the survey had a positive response to all three components, to minus 100, signaling all views were negative.

The three questions used to calculate the index are:

National Economy
 "Would you describe the state of the nation’s economy these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor?"

Personal Finances
"Would you describe the state of your own personal finances these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor?"

Buying Climate
"Considering the cost of things today and your own personal finances, would you say now is an excellent time, a good time, a not so good time, or a poor time to buy the things you want and need?"

-- Bloomberg and Langer Research Associates



The Conference Board Consumer
Confidence Survey: Methodology

The Consumer Confidence Survey is conducted for the Conference Board by TNS. The questionnaires are mailed to a nationwide representative sample of 5,000 households, of which roughly 3,500 typically respond. Each month, a different panel of 5,000 households is surveyed.

The Index is based on responses to five questions included in the survey:

1. Respondents' appraisal of current business conditions.

2. Respondents' expectations regarding business conditions six months hence.

3. Respondents' appraisal of the current employment conditions.

4. Respondents' expectations regarding employment conditions six months hence.

5. Respondents' expectations regarding their total family income six months hence.

For each of the five questions, there are three response options: POSITIVE, NEGATIVE, and NEUTRAL.

The response proportions to each question are seasonally adjusted. For each of the five questions (above), the POSITIVE figure is divided by the sum of the POSITIVE and NEGATIVE to yield a proportion, which we call the "RELATIVE" value. For each question, the average RELATIVE for the calendar year 1985 is then used as a benchmark to yield the INDEX value for that question. The Indexes are then averaged together as follows: Consumer Confidence Index: Average of all five Indexes; Present Situation Index: Average of Indexes for questions 1 and 3; Expectations Index: Average of Indexes for questions 2, 4, and 5.

-- The Conference Board




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