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International Business: PESTLE

What is a PESTLE analysis?

A PESTLE analysis typically covers the PoliticalEconomicSocialTechnologicalLegal, and Environmental (PESTLE) structure of a country.

Explore the resources on this Country Information subject guide to find relevant databases and websites to support PESTLE research. This guide includes links to sources for country profiles, statistics, information on doing business in a country, and more. Each database will have unique information, and searching across multiple sources may help to find information on a variety of topics related to a country.

Sources for PESTLE Analysis Reports

Additional Sources for PESTLE Information

PESTLE infographic showing icons for political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental factors

Information often found in PESTLE reports

Expand the PESTLE headings to learn more about the information often found in PESTLE reports:

  • Type of government (democracy, communism, socialism, oligarchy, totalitarianism, military dictatorship, etc.)
  • Corruption ranking
  • Stable Foreign Policies
  • Relations with regional trading blocks and adjacent countries
  • Fiscal policies
  • Trade tariffs
  • Conflicts/political unrest
  • Taxation, tax law complexity and tax compliance costs. Corporate income taxes. Withholding taxes (rate on dividends interest and royalties)
  • Suppression of freedom of expression

  • GDP, GDP per Capita; GDP Composition by sector (Ie. agriculture, industry, services)
  • Currency
  • Government deficit/debt as ratio to GDP; government deficits
  • Country credit rating; issuer default rating
  • Current account surplus - value; as a percentage of GDP
  • Long term foreign currency holdings
  • Better Life Index (BLI) - based on 11 topics identified by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). These range from housing, income, community and education to environment, civic engagement and health. The index also allows a comparison of gender differences.
  • Price inflation rate
  • Wage growth; employment generation
  • Average disposable income, changes in disposable income
  • Unemployment rate
  • Central Bank interest rates
  • Foreign exchange rates
  • Economic growth patterns (contraction, growth, etc.); declines or increases in consumption
  • Main contributors to the economy (manufacturing, services, natural resources, etc.
  • Chief exports/Chief Imports
  • Exports and imports - value; volume; growth rates
  • Foreign direct investment value
  • Purchasing Manager's Index value (PMI)
  • Consumer confidence index
  • Business confidence index
  • World Bank Doing Business Report scores, rankings
  • Productivity
  • Economic strengths/challenges
  • Impact of Covid 19 on the economy (travel restrictions, lockdown measures, vaccine roll out, stimulus measures)
  • Income inequality magnitude, growth or decline patterns
  • Financial system; banking sector; banking shocks
  • Stock markets
  • Insurance

  • Demographic profiles (population growth, age, gender, language, occupation, cultural background or ethnic composition, family status, etc.)
  • Education levels, percentage of the population that is literate
  • Health (e.g. percentage of GDP spent on healthcare; life expectancy, infant mortality rate, birth rate, death rate, etc.)
  • United Nations Human Development Index
  • Percentage of the population that lives in poverty; experiences social exclusion
  • Welfare spending
  • Religion and ethics (major religions)
  • Opinions and attitudes
  • Media
  • Brand preferences

  • Level of automation
  • Degree of mobile and internet penetration
  • Mobile subscriber growth rate; total percentage of the population
  • Technological development & entrepreneurship
  • Patent protection
  • Licensing
  • Communication networks
  • Information technology; Network Readiness Index Ranking
  • Incentives and/or policies to boost R&D spending and innovation
  • Research and development expenditures
  • Innovation scorecard KPIs
  • High technology exports
  • Technological awareness

  • Well defined judicial system
  • Independence of the judiciary; conflicts between the judiciary and government
  • Value Added Tax rates (VAT)
  • Employment laws
  • Consumer protection
  • Intellectual property protections; U.S. Priority Watch List
  • Software and brand piracy protections; piracy rates
  • Industry specific regulations
  • Regulatory bodies
  • Environmental regulations
  • Economic freedom ranking (Heritage Foundation & Wall Street Journal Index of Economic Freedom)
  • Ease of starting a business (usually measured in days to do it)

  • Climate, weather, climate change, CO2 emissions
  • Levels of air, water, land pollution
  • Geographical location
  • Environmental policy framework
  • Emissions trading system; carbon taxes
  • Stakeholder and consumer values
  • Environmental offsets 
  • Transport fuel taxes
  • Yale University Environmental Performance Index
  • General Progress Indicator (GPI) -incorporates social and environmental factors not measured by GDP, such as the cost of ozone depletion, crime or poverty on a nation’s economic health. It nets the positive and negative results to decide whether economic growth has benefited the population overall.
  • Inclusive Wealth Index (IWI): developed by the UN, measures the wealth of nations using a comprehensive analysis of a country’s productive base, including the assets from which human wellbeing is derived –  manufactured, human and natural capital.
  • Happy Planet Index (HPI): developed by the UK’s New Economic Foundation, combines four elements – life expectancy, wellbeing, ecological footprint and inequality – to show how efficiently people in different countries are using environmental resources to lead long, happy lives.
  • Waste management
  • Rise in renewable energy; renewal energy adoption
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