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Research Series for Historical Data on Buying Plans and Vacation Intentions

In February 2011 The Conference Board switched survey providers for the Consumer Confidence Survey® from TNS to The Nielsen Company. As stated in the Technical Notes released on February 22, 2011 most series showed only a limited effect from this change. However,the planned purchases series (autos, homes and major appliances) resulted in a substantial level increase, which The Conference Board treats as series break. The vacation plans also showed a break in series. In both cases there has been no revision in the historical series.

However, in order to facilitate historical comparability for now, The Conference Board has developed a Research Series for Buying Plans and Vacation Intentions. The Research Series is based on a ratio approach. This method re-bases the historical series to a higher level while allowing users to keep the previous series trends and turning points. For each individual series an adjustment ratio was calculated and then applied to the historical series. The adjustment ratio was based on responses for the four month period of Oct. 2010 – January 2011 results, for which overlapping observations were available from the old and the new surveys. The formula used to arrive at the research series values is shown below.

Average Level (Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan.) for New Series
Average Level (Oct.Nov.Dec.Jan.)for Previously Published Series

= Adjustment Ratio

Adjustment Ratio x Historical Data Prior to Nov.2010 = Research Series

This series is intended for research purposes only and does not represent an official restatement of the published series. The Conference Board continues to treat these level changes as breaks and will not consider any revisions until more monthly observations have become available to assess the effects more accurately.

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