The authors propose a statistical methodology to test changes in consumer confidence indicators. These indicators are surveyed monthly and each time concern diĀ®erent individuals. This complicates a straightforward interpretation of changes in the values of the index. The proposed methodology involves estimating the transition matrix which connects the fractions of positive, neutral and negative opinions. The elements of this matrix can be estimated and confidence bounds can be computed. A by-product of the method is a simple tool to correct for seasonality. An illustration to about two decades of Dutch data shows that monthly changes in consumer confidence are not often significantly different from zero.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Markov process, consumer confidence
JEL Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data (jel C82), Business Fluctuations; Cycles (jel E32)
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/1765/7675
Series Econometric Institute Research Papers
Journal Report / Econometric Institute, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Citation
Franses, Ph.H.B.F, & van Oest, R.D. (2006). Testing changes in consumer confidence indicators (No. EI 2006-18). Report / Econometric Institute, Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/7675