The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is a business within The Economist Group providing forecasting and advisory services through research and analysis, such as monthly country reports, five-year country economic forecasts, country risk service reports, and industry reports.
The EIU provides country, industry, and management analysis worldwide and incorporates the former Business International Corporation, a UK company acquired by its parent company in 1986. The EIU has several offices across the globe including two offices in China and one in Hong Kong.
The Economist Intelligence Unit also produces regular reports on "liveability" and cost of living of the world's major cities that receive wide coverage in international media. The Economist Intelligence Unit's Quality-of-Life Index is another noted report.
Its current Managing Director is Robin Bew, formerly the company's Editorial Director and Chief Economist.
In December 2012, the Economist Intelligence Unit acquired Bazian, which specialises in the analysis and supply of clinical evidence on health services, treatment, and health technologies to assess clinical effectiveness and value for money. Headquartered in London, Bazian was founded by Vivek Muthu and Anna Donald in 1999.
In April 2012, the Economist Intelligence Unit acquired Clearstate, a market intelligence firm offering customised strategic advisory and primary research solutions specifically addressing the healthcare and life sciences domains within the Asia Pacific. Clearstate was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Singapore.
In November 2010 the Economist Intelligence Unit released the Access China White Paper profiling the economies of the top 20 emerging cities in China, directed by Stephen Joske, China Forecasting, for the Economist Intelligence Unit. It was created to support a report conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Access China Service, "CHAMPS: China’s fastest-growing cities". These cities are favoured for several reasons, including the breadth of business opportunities available, the ongoing construction boom, rising home and vehicle ownership and spending on personal appliances. The report coined the acronym CHAMPS (Chongqing, Hefei, Anshan, Maanshan, Pingdingshan and Shenyang).
In 2006 (with updates in 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013), the Economist Intelligence Unit released the Democracy Index, an index compiled by examining the state of democracy in 167 countries, attempting to quantify this with an Index of Democracy focusing on five general categories—electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, functioning of government, political participation and political culture.
Government Broadband Index (gBBi)
In January 2011, the Unit released the Government Broadband Index (gBBi) that assesses countries on the basis of government planning, as opposed to current broadband capability. With ambitious targets for both the speed and coverage of next-generation broadband networks, the developed countries of Southeast Asia scored highest. According to the index, Greece is the worst-performing country measured, due to its relatively low coverage target and drawn-out deployment schedule. Greece also suffers due to the considerable size of its public-funding commitment as a percentage of overall government budget revenues, and because its plan does little to encourage competition.
Innovations in Youth Hiring
In 2015, the Economist Intelligence Unit, with assistance from the Rockefeller Foundation, conducted a study of small businesses in the United States that used innovative strategies to hire and train young employees. The goal of the study was to identify the most creative models used by small businesses to hire and retain disadvantaged youth. From a short list of nine small business leaders, the unit selected Kansas-based home security company LiveWatch, Oregon-based auto shop Precision Body & Paint, and New York-based technology consultancy Sharp Decisions as the recipients of its 2015 Innovations in Youth Hiring Award.
A full list of The EIU's special reports can be downloaded on their .
In November 2015 the Economist Intelligence Unit launched Market Explorer. It is an online tool which was designed to scan markets in various countries and cities across the globe and find the best locations for a product or service.