The Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN) conducts regular harmonised surveys for different sectors of the economies in the European Union (EU) and in the applicant countries. From the very beginning, the Malta Chamber’s partner for the provision of bespoke survey software has been PwC.
The objective of these surveys is to gauge perceptions and expectations of operators in their respective sectors. Internationally, these surveys serve as a lead and timely indicator of actual performance and the data gathered is used to build composite indicators to track cyclical movements, both in specific sectors and also in the economy as a whole. However, they are not meant to substitute official data on the performance of the sector. Emphasis is on short-term performance rather than on structural issues which would require more in-depth study. The programme allows for comparisons among different countries’ business cycles and has become a recognised tool for monitoring the evolution of the EU and the euro area economies, and applicant countries.
The European Commission does not conduct these surveys directly but does so through partner institutes established in the various surveyed countries and chosen through competitive tender. The tenders are usually for a number of years and the contracts always start in May.
The Malta Chamber started conducting the Industry survey in 2002. The Services tender was won for the first time in 2007, the Construction survey in 2008, and the Retail survey in 2011. The Malta Chamber has been conducting these surveys uninterruptedly since the said dates. The last Framework Agreement tender, for a maximum duration of six years, was won in 2015.