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New Business Expectations Survey: Design proposals following consultation and pilot

We have been testing plans to enhance our understanding of businesses’ expectations in two ways: (i) Public Consultation in March 2024; and (ii) Pilot Survey in April 2024. 

Tara-ā-Umanga Business Expectations Survey: Design proposals following consultation and pilot (PDF, 3.7MB) outlines our lessons learnt from this work and resulting design proposals for our new Business Expectations Survey, BES, Tara-ā-Umanga. 

We have listened to feedback and have made the following changes to the BES survey design:

  • We will make the survey shorter and quicker for businesses to fill in.
  • Survey questions will focus on inflation expectations, wages, and unemployment. We will remove questions on GDP, OCR, and the exchange rate. (Note: these questions will still be asked to professional forecasters, and other experts, in the existing Survey of Expectations.)
  • We will survey businesses in the primary industry.
  • We will not include very small businesses (those with fewer than 6 employees). This is to reduce the burden on this group. We also note that small businesses had highly variable responses and few were willing to take part again.

Please note that the pilot survey results are experimental data. These should be treated with caution, especially for questions with a high rate of “don’t know” replies and hence a very small sample size.

A second pilot to build toward full sample size

To build on the success of the first pilot we will conduct a second pilot during July 2024, with a selected sample size of about 2,000 businesses – a four-fold increase on the first pilot sample size. The intention is to continue building the sample size over subsequent quarters to a target cross-sectional responding (achieved) sample size of over 400 businesses each quarter. We anticipate the full survey will be established over the coming year.

Background information

In March 2024 we conducted a public consultation on our design proposals – see Tara-ā-Umanga Business Expectations Survey consultation Paper.

We announced our investigations to enhance our surveying of expectations in August 2023 – see Stats Alert: Survey of expectations: Change of research provider and Investigations to enhance the survey.