The CFS Index, compiled from a comprehensive quarterly survey of leading executives in the German financial sector, aims to reflect the prevailing market sentiment on the most important issues and risks facing the sector as well as near-term prospects.
The CFS Index has been calculated since the beginning of 2007. In the first phase, it focused on companies and institutions from the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main region. Since the end of 2007 the German financial sector as a whole has been covered. The survey-panel consists of enterprises and institutions of the financial sector (“Financial Institutions”) as well as selected companies that profit from the financial sector (“Service Providers”).
- Financial Institutions
e.g. banks, insurance companies, asset managers
- Service Providers
– companies that are closely linked to the financial industry but also work for other branches as for example law firms, advisory companies or news agencies.
– supervisory bodies and regulators such as Deutsche Bundesbank and the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin)
– lobby groups and academic institutions that have an expert knowledge about the financial industry
– companies that profit from financial centers like Frankfurt or Munich such as airlines, hotels, luxury car leasing companies or catering firms.
The CFS aims to establish the CFS Index as an early indicator for the economic development of the financial sector in Germany. Although the financial sector is very important for the economic development in Germany as a whole, other indicators such as the ifo business climate or the ZEW business expectations do not cover this economic branch.
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The CFS Index is compiled from different sub-indices. Panel participants are asked questions about four different business parameters: transaction volume, profits, employment and investments, The answers may be given as “positive”, “neutral”, or “negative” and a response is requested for the previous and the current quarter.
All participants are allocated to two branch-specific groups. Within each group, a balance of the share of positive and negative responses is evaluated and transformed into performance data. These performance data are then aggregated in order to constitute the CFS Index. Due to construction, the maximum index value is 150, the minimum index value is 50; a value of 100 signalizes a neutral business sentiment.