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
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