For purposes of economic analysis, the Bank of Italy conducts periodic sample surveys involving households, businesses, and some intermediaries. The salient features and the main results are illustrated in specific Supplement dossiers or in other periodical publications.
Survey on the budgets of Italian families
The publication illustrates the main results obtained from the survey data on Italian household budgets, conducted by the Bank of Italy, starting in the 1960s, with the aim of gathering information on the income and savings of Italian families.
In particular, information on the structure, income, wealth, indebtedness, distribution of financial assets, use of payment instruments and housing of Italian households is provided.
The Bank of Italy, using the contribution of the Branches, has been conducting sample surveys on companies since 1972.
Until 1998 only companies of industrial processing with 50 employees and over were considered. Over the last few years, the field of observation has expanded, extending, since 1999, to the complex of manufacturing companies and the mining and energy sectors, and since 2001 also to companies with 20-49 employees. Since 2002, a similar survey started on private non-financial services companies with 20 employees and over.
The results, used for the economic analysis and regularly commented on in the Annual Report, starting from the survey referred to 2003 are published in a special file of the Supplement series. Statistical elaborations on the data collected at the companies, starting from 1984, are possible, for research purposes, through the BIRD remote processing system.
Cyclical survey on industrial and service Businesses
This survey, conducted at the beginning of the autumn of each year with the help of the Bank branches, is aimed at Italian industry and services businesses with at least 20 employees.
The questionnaire, mainly of a qualitative nature, includes questions on investments, orders and turnover, indebtedness, employment levels, salary developments and other questions regarding the economic development. The results, normally commented on in the autumn edition of the Bank of Italy's Economic Bulletin, since 2006, are published in a special booklet of the Supplement series. Statistical elaborations on the data collected at the companies, starting from 1984, are possible, for research purposes, through the BIRD remote processing system.
Since 1999 both the Bank of Italy and the newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore have been conducting a quarterly survey on inflation and growth expectations.
The sample is normally composed of about 500 businesses with 50 employees and over, active in the main sectors of the economy with the exclusion of agriculture and construction. The surveys are conducted in March, June, September and December. The main results are summarised in an article published in Il Sole - 24 Ore; at the same time, the detailed statistical tables and a brief economic comment are posted on the Bank of Italy's website.
From December 2006, a specific booklet of the Supplement series is dedicated to the illustration of the results of this survey.
With effect from March 2009, the Bank of Italy has started publishing a Supplement to the Statistical Bulletin which, at quarterly frequency, reports the results of a survey to a representative sample of real estate agents on the state of the residential market in Italy, conducted jointly with Tecnoborsa and, starting from the third quarter 2010 edition, by the Agenzia del Territorio (Territory Agency, from December 2012 incorporated into the Inland Revenue, Agenzia delle Entrate).
The report describes the opinions of the operators on the performance of the sale of residential properties, the prices in the reference quarter compared to the previous one and the local and national short-term prospects.
The survey started in January 2003 and it is conducted by the national central banks of the countries that have adopted the single currency in cooperation with the European Central Bank. It is aimed at the credit policy makers of the main banks in the area (over 140); for Italy, the parent companies of eight credit groups take part.
The survey highlights clearly, on the one hand, the factors influencing the credit supply as well as the terms and conditions applied to customers and, on the other, the trend in credit demand with the related determinants.
The questionnaire, revised starting from the first quarter of 2015, contains twenty-two multiple-choice questions divided into two sections: one refers to loans granted to companies, the other to credit granted to families (for the purchase of housing and for consumer credit and other categories of loans). There is also an "open" question with which intermediaries can highlight short-term aspects of the credit market which are not included in the other questions. The credit managers are invited to express evaluations both on the performance of the last quarter and on the prospects for the next one.
The changes to the questionnaire introduced in April 2015 include both the inclusion of new questions, two for each category of loans, and the modification of some, already present, in addition to updating the Filling Guidance (now included in the questionnaire). Among the new applications, one concerns the change in the percentage of rejected loan applications, the other relates to the factors influencing the terms and conditions of loan disbursement.