ZEW has been conducting a survey among companies in the information economy since mid-2011. These include ICT hardware manufacturers, ICT service providers, media service providers, and knowledge-intensive knowledge providers (see sector classification at the bottom of the website). The companies are surveyed on a quarterly basis and asked to assess the current business situation as well as their expectations. The ZEW Economic Sentiment Indicator for the Information Economy, which reflects the economic situation of the companies in the information economy, is then calculated on the basis of their responses.
In each survey wave, ZEW collects data on current key topics in the research area digital economy, including current ICT trends, investments in ICT or the diffusion of new ICT applications (such as artificial intelligence or cloud computing). As part of the survey, ZEW regularly gathers background data on, for instance, the number and qualifications of employees, business structures or the innovation activity of companies. The survey is also frequently used to collect data on key topics for other projects in the “Digital Economy” Research Department. A selection of projects associated with this business survey can be found in the column on the right under “Additional information”.
On a quarterly basis, the results of the survey are published in the ZEW Sector Report Information Economy (in German only). However, the key findings of the survey are also regularly made available in English in ZEW’s press releases.
The ZEW Business Survey is a follow-up project of the survey among service providers of the information economy, which ran from the first quarter of 2002 to 2011 and was then adapted and revised to reflect the comprehensive changes of the industrial classification of economic activities.
ZEW-Branchenreport Informationswirtschaft 4. Quartal 2020
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The information economy is made up of the following sectors
- Software publishing,
- Computer programming, consultancy and related activities,
- Data processing, hosting, web portals
- Manufacture of electronic components and boards,
- Manufacture of computers and peripheral equipment,
- Manufacture of communication equipment,
- Manufacture of consumer electronics,
- Manufacture of magnetic and optical media
- Publishing of books, periodicals and other publishing activities,
- Motion picture, video and television programme production, sound recording and music, publishing activities,
- Programming and broadcasting activities,
- Other information service activities
- Legal and accounting activities,
- Management consultancy activities,
- Architectural and engineering activities and related technical consultancy,
- Scientific research and development,
- Advertising and market research,
- Other professional, scientific and technical activities