Abstract A correct and timely assessment of the cyclical situation is essential for policy-making One of the most commonly used indicators is the industrial production index. In Italy a preliminary value of the index is only published 40–50 days after the end of the reference month. The authors present several methods for obtaining earlier estimates, including (a) simple univariate models, (b) an OLS model that employs data on electric power input, corrected for the effects of temperature and (indirectly) of the manufacturing output mix, (c) a transfer-function model based on business surveys. The results are satisfactory. The best single forecasts are those based on the electric power input, but combining these with business surveys gives even better predictions.