Bloomberg L.P.

Bloomberg Retail PMI Survey Results to be Released Monday 8th November

    London, November 4 (ots/PRNewswire) -

    - Monthly Index is the Only Large-Scale Survey of Eurozone Retail Sector Business Conditions

    The October Bloomberg Retail Purchasing Managers Index ("PMI") Eurozone survey results will be released on Monday, 8 November 2004.

    September's figures, which were released in early October, showed a decline in retail sales for the euro area, falling from 49.7 in August to 48.8 in September. Index readings above 50.0 signal an increase in sales during the month; readings below 50.0 signal a decrease.

    The monthly Bloomberg Retail PMI provides analysts, economists, investors and policy makers with must-have, internationally comparable data on consumer spending patterns and retail sector economic growth in the Eurozone. The Bloomberg Retail PMI tracks changes in retail sales, performance against sales targets, inventories, prices, employment and other key indicators. The Index provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive picture of the euro area's key retail markets each month.

    The Bloomberg Retail PMI, produced with NTC Research Limited, surveys more than 1,000 executives in the German, French and Italian retail sectors. These three countries represent approximately 75% of total Eurozone retail sales.

    Monthly survey data have been collected since the start of 2004, reflecting national and Eurozone retail business conditions as well as broad sector data.

    Data is published approximately one month ahead of government figures on retail sales. Unlike government data, the Bloomberg Retail PMI statistics are not revised after first publication.

    Further information

    What Are PMIs?

    A "PMI" is a type of monthly survey based on the successful "Purchasing Managers' Index" methodology, used since 1930 in the United States. The PMI methodology has developed an outstanding reputation for providing the most up-to-date possible indication of what is really happening in the private sector economy by tracking variables such as sales, employment, inventories and prices.

    The indexes are widely used by businesses, governments and economic analysts in financial institutions. Central banks, including the European Central Bank, use the data to help make interest rate decisions.

    Crucially, the PMI surveys are based on fact, not opinion, and are the first indicators of economic conditions published each month. Furthermore, the data are collected using identical methods in all countries so that international comparisons may be made.

    Why Has The Bloomberg Retail PMI Been Developed?

    The Bloomberg Retail PMI has been developed to provide useful and timely data to help better understand business conditions and guide corporate and investment strategy.

    In the past, retail sector data have suffered from various problems, including delays in publication, being prone to revision after first release and being limited in scope, concentrating mainly on sales volumes.

    The new survey has been designed to overcome these problems by drawing on the successful PMI survey methodology used by NTC in other sectors:

    - Data are collected and analysed quickly, meaning the findings are available early each month, with data relating to the month just passed. The survey results are therefore available well ahead of comparable data produced by government bodies.

    - Unlike government-produced data, the Retail PMI survey data are not revised after first publication, allowing greater confidence in the survey findings.

    - The new survey fills gaps where no other data are currently available, providing trend data on sales performance against targets, inventory holdings, purchasing activity, margins and future expectations.

    The Bloomberg Retail PMI will therefore provide analysts with a new tool to monitor retail performance and consumer spending.

    Like existing PMI surveys of manufacturing, services and construction industry trends, the new Bloomberg Retail PMI Retail PMI will be used by economic policy makers in the euro area.

    How Are Survey Data Collected And Analysed?

    - Data are collected in the final week of each month from representative panels of retailers in France, Germany and Italy. Sectors covered include:

    - Autos

    - Food & Drink

    - Furniture, floor coverings & furnishings

    - Confectionery, tobacco & news

    - Health/beauty/chemist

    - Clothing & footwear (excl. sports)

    - Jewellery

    - Sports goods (incl. sports clothing)

    - Toys/hobbies/bikes/gifts/crafts

    - DIY, hardware & gardening

    - Music/video/books

    - Data are collected by NTC Research using hard-copy, fax and web-based questionnaires.

    - Respondents are asked a variety of multiple choice questions relating to the direction of change in key business variables. Questions take the form of up/down/same replies. For example, "Is your company's employment higher, the same or lower than one month ago?" Respondents are also asked to provide anecdotal information on reasons for changes.

    - The percentages of survey respondents reporting an increase, no change or decrease for each survey variable are converted into a single-figure "diffusion index" according to the following formula: INDEX=P1x1+P2x0.5+P3x0, where P1=Percentage number of answers that reported an improvement, P2=Percentage number of answers that reported no change and P3=Percentage number of answers that reported a deterioration. Thus, if 100% of the panel reported an improvement the index would be 100. If 100% reported deterioration the index would be zero. If 100% of the panel saw no change the index would be 50 % (P2 x 0.5).

    - Data are seasonally adjusted, where appropriate.

    - The national data are weighted together according to each country's contribution to total euro area retail sales, to form the aggregate Bloomberg Retail PMI Eurozone data.

    About Bloomberg

    Bloomberg LP is the leading provider of news, data and analysis around the world. Corporations, news organizations, financial professionals and individuals receive real-time and historical pricing, indicative data, news, analytics, multimedia reports and electronic communications 24 hours a day through the BLOOMBERG terminal and Bloomberg's global news services. Bloomberg's media services include BLOOMBERG NEWS(R), a financial news wire service that includes more than 1,800 journalists in 102 bureaus worldwide; and BLOOMBERG TELEVISION(R) and BLOOMBERG RADIOSM, 24-hour business and financial news produced and distributed globally in seven different languages. Bloomberg Magazine Group and Bloomberg Press publish magazines and books for investment professionals.

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