It is a research and advisory company providing country, industry and management analysis worldwide and incorporates the former Business International Corporation, a U.S. company acquired by the parent organization in 1986. It is particularly well known for its country profiles, monthly country reports, five-year country economic forecasts, country risk service reports and industry reports. The company also specialises in tailored research for companies that require analysis for particular markets or business sectors. In 2005, another entity, Economist Conferences, was merged with EIU. 2006 marked the 60th anniversary of the Economist Intelligence Unit's inception.
The Economist also produces regular reports on the 'liveability' of the worlds major cities, which receive wide coverage in international news sources.