Surveys of consumers and firms as to their expectations about aspects of the economy. Such surveys have been used to forecast business conditions. George Katona at the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan pioneered the development of surveys of consumer expectations in the 1940s. The surveys typically contain questions about what will likely happen in the next four months. Business people are asked about their expectations for salaries, profits, new orders, production, and their overall confidence levels. The IFO Institute for Economic Research in Munich ( has encouraged countries to collect and analyze data on business and consumer expectations.