Consumerís Sentiment Index used by ASEP since October 1986 is the index originally developed by The University of Michigan in the decade of the 60s by a joint team of economists and sociologists. It combines in a single synthetic index the evaluation that individuals make about their personal and countryís (in this case Spainís) economic situation at present, compared with the situation that, according to them, existed six months before and with the one they expect six months later. A scale of five answer categories (much better, somewhat better, the same, somewhat worse and much worse) was used in the four comparisons. Besides the CSI that synthesizes the four comparisons, the separate evaluation of the two components of it (individual and country), measured through the Personal Optimism Index (OI) and the National Economic Situation Index (ESEI) have been used by ASEP in its surveys since the very first one. Each index is constructed adding the proportions who think that the situation is much or somewhat better, subtracting from this result the sum of the proportions who think that the situation is much or somewhat worse, and finally adding 100 to standardize the result, so that the scale may vary theoretically between 0 and 200. Each value of the index higher than 100 implies that those who think that the economic situation is/will be better are more than those who think that it is/will be worse. Generally, the evaluation of the personal economic situation is better and more optimistic than that of the country, though in some cases (as in Spain between the 1996 and the 2000 elections) the inverse situation is observed. In this figure, and taking into account the proximity of the 2008 elections, only the results since the past 2004 elections have been included (though ASEPís time series includes every month since October 1986), so as to see more clearly how the evaluation that Spaniards make of the economy during the legislature that is now coming to an end has evolved. It is easy to see that the evaluation has been increasingly negative and pessimistic along the past four years.
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