The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has introduced the third product component in its "strategy to provide a single source of timely global industry analysis for executives managing cross border businesses," to quote Lou Celi, EIU's publishing director. The EIU Market Indicators and Forecasts is a Web-based service that presents extensive industry statistics on market size and forecast data for growth potential in 60 leading country markets, five regions, and 11 regional aggregations (e.g., economies in transition, G7 countries, East-Central Europe).
The new database carries over 500 market indicators, including 5-year forecasts, historical data, statistics on industries, demographics, consumption, average wages, income levels, consumer markets, infrastructure, sovereign risk, business risk, and business environment. The forecasts cover eight industries: automotive; consumer goods and retailing; energy and electricity; financial services; food, beverages, and tobacco; healthcare and pharmaceuticals; telecoms and technology; and transport, travel, and tourism.
The source also covers key financial services indicators, New Market Outlets text reports, and The Economist's Big Mac index-purchasing power parity for comparing exchange rates. Risk ratings for both country credit and business operations cover political and economic policies, economic structure, liquidity, security, and infrastructure risks.
Users can access the data in a range of modes on a variety of platforms - charts, export to Excel, sort/select by variable for country, direct downloading of data into presentations and budgeting models, profiles of single countries, or comparison of key factors across countries.
Marketing Indicators and Forecasts joins two other sources introduced in the spring of 2003 by EIU - Industry Forecasts, with 108 reports on the eight industries in 60 markets, and IndustryWire, a daily briefing and forecasting service. The new file, according to Celi, "completes our new industry portfolio." EIU delivers its products in multiple formats. Electronically it offers the site http://eiu.com, a virtual library with access to all EIU publications as a subscription service, as well as http://store.eiu.com, a transactional site. A typical current report can cost from $230 to $350.
The new service distinguishes itself from competitors through the quality of its business intelligence and the consistency of its data. Forecasts use the well-respected country-based macroeconomic models developed by EIU. A global network of 100 in-house analysts and economists and 650 in-country contributors covers nearly 200 countries for The Economist Group, EIU's parent and the publisher of The Economist, and supports the new EIU database.
Business information consultant, Barbie Keiser, commented on the launch of the database: "EIU has moved slowly into electronic distribution, but they haven't made any mistakes in their moves. This source maintains their tradition of quality. It may not cover as many countries as some other sources do, but the analysis is high quality and the product shouldn't leave you wondering - as with others that cover more countries - where on earth they got their numbers."