Half of the index is generated by the responses given to a string of key questions in the survey on the expectations of future corporate performance and the outlook for the regional economies. The same questions will be asked in each survey, allowing for the construction of comparative data series.

The other half of the MEBCI is constructed from hard data relating to gross domestic product (GDP), oil prices and production, money supply, interest rates, credit volumes, inflation, government budgets, capital expenditure, stock market performances and exchange rates.

By fusing the expectations of almost 800 business leaders with a data-driven, weighted model of regional economic health, a unique index has been created that will provide an independent and anticipatory indicator of the future health of the business environment. HSBC and MEED hope it will become a benchmark for the region.