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The CBI Industrial Trends Survey in Scotland : a quantitative appraisal

Bell, David N. F. (1978) The CBI Industrial Trends Survey in Scotland : a quantitative appraisal. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 4 (1). pp. 48-62. ISSN 0306-7866

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The CBI have been carrying out a separate Survey of their Scottish membership since 1959. Until 1972 the Survey was carried out three times a year. Since then it has been carried out quarterly. At present, about two hundred firms regularly participate in the Survey, and, of these, approximately 75% have direct exports exceeding £10,000 per annum. About 50% of the respondents employ less than 200 workers and around 25% have a workforce greater than 500. The 1972 Census of Production indicates that there are 240 manufacturing establishments in Scotland employing more than 500 workers. Thus, it appears that around 23% of these respond to the questionnaire. For smaller firms, however, coverage is rather sparse, with Census data indicating that the Survey covers only about 2% of firms employing less than 200 workers. The purpose of this paper is to assess the operation of the Survey in Scotland and, in particular, to evaluate its quantitative implications. The analysis is carried out solely on the results from all respondents. No attempt, as yet, has been made to disaggregate by industry or by size group. The paper is divided into three sections. In the first section some analyses of the Survey results for Britain as a whole are reviewed. Following that, in the next section a number of hypotheses concerning the Scottish Survey are proposed and tested. The final section contains some tentative conclusions. We begin by reviewing the previous literature on the Survey for Britain as a whole.