Customers in a shopping street

Bundesbank Online Pilot Survey on Consumer Expectations

What is the outlook for the economy over the next few years? This is a question that households regularly ask themselves when they are in the process of making big decisions. Positive (negative) expectations can stimulate (discourage) investment and purchasing decisions. A change in economic expectations within society can also have an impact on a country’s economic growth. For the Bundesbank, it is extremely important to identify such changes at an early stage and to take them into consideration as soon as possible in its policy decision processes.

The Bundesbank is currently undertaking a pilot study to investigate whether a regular consumers expectation survey can provide information that is useful for policy-making. There are chiefly two questions that are of relevance in this context:

  1. How can such a study optimally supply the Bundesbank and policymakers with a broad and up-to-date picture of consumers’ economic expectations in Germany?
  2. To what extent can the obtained data assist the Bundesbank’s and other institutions’ researchers in analysing current economic developments?

The survey and the questionnaire were designed and prepared by the Deutsche Bundesbank’s Research Centre in cooperation with external experts. The public opinion research company forsa has been commissioned with conducting the survey. The pilot survey will in total comprise five waves containing both recurring and wave-specific questions. For each wave of the survey, around 2,000 representative members of the general public will be asked to respond. Some of the respondents will be asked multiple times. Participation in the study is voluntary and will take about 20 minutes.

The collected data will be used exclusively for the production of statistics, for monetary and financial stability purposes, as well as for study and research. There will be no commercial use. The collected data will always be stored separately from personal data and identification of individual persons will not be possible, even for the researchers at the Bundesbank.