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Judging With Numbers: Political And Economic Optimism Indices Published Weekly

By | [email protected] | May 23, 2016 5:22pm

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Starting today, the media outlet Clarín will be publishing two optimism indices, one regarding the public’s confidence in politics and the other in economics, every Sunday on its website (which will appear in Monday’s print edition). The statistics will be from the consulting firm Management and Fit and according to this week’s figures, the Political Optimism Index stands at 46.5 points while the Economic Optimism Index shows 37.9 points.

Optimism indices are basically surveys that gauge the opinion and the outlook of a population sample regarding a certain subject, in this case politics or the economy, to then extrapolate the data as representative of the country. The statistics obtained for the indices come from telephone surveys, which are carried out weekly to 2,810 people: a sample of the population that allegedly represents an urban population of over 16 years old from all over the country. In addition, the results have a 95 percent confidence interval with a margin of error of 2 percent: that means that if the survey is done 100 times, the results will not differ more than 2 percent in value and that 95 percent of the time, the interval found will hold the true value.

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Both indices are a product of two sub-indices. The Political Optimism Index includes an index that measures Political Expectations, i.e. the perception of the future evolution of national politics, and a Political Climate Index, which gauges the perception of the current political situation. Similarly, the Economic Optimism Index is composed of the Economic Expectations Index (the perception of future economic situation) and the Economic Confidence Index (the perception on the present economic context).

According to Mariel Fornoni, the CEO of Management and Fit, political optimism has been surpassing economic optimism by 10 points since the indices were begun. For Fornoni, this is due to the price hikes, which negatively affect people’s outlook: 80 percent believe that prices will continue to increase.

Clarín states that these indices have been in the works since the beginning of the year in order to monitor the indicators before making them public and validate the methodology involved.