Dutch economists recommend using social media as confidence indicator

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Public comments on social media could be used to "harvest" insight on changes in consumer confidence before the results of more formal surveys are published, according to research published by the European Central Bank (ECB).

Economists Piet Daas and Marco Puts, from Statistics Netherlands, compare a database of messages posted on social media websites (mainly Facebook and Twitter) with monthly consumer confidence surveys.

They find the two are "highly correlated", and propose that policy-makers

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