Europe Monthly Index

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December 2016 Note: To address a shift in the archive system, we revised the EPU Index for Italy back to July 2016 (when the shift occurred). This revision also affects the EPU Index for Europe back to July 2016.

September 2015 Note: To address weaknesses in the underlying newspaper archives, we have revised our data on economic policy uncertainty for France and Italy. Changes for these two countries also affect our overall European Economic Policy Uncertainty Index, which runs from January 1997 to the present.

We also expanded the European data in three respects: (1) EPU data from France now start in January 1987. (2) EPU data for Germany now start in January 1993. (3) We now offer two new EPU indexes for The Netherlands based on work by three Dutch researchers. The Dutch EPU indexes, which run from March 2003 to the present, do not feed into our European EPU index and are available here.

News coverage about policy-related economic uncertainty

To measure European policy-related economic uncertainty, we construct an index based on newspaper articles regarding policy uncertainty.

We construct these country-level indexes in the same manner as our EPU index based on American newspapers. We draw on two newspapers per country for the European indexes: Le Monde and Le Figaro for France, Handelsblatt and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung for Germany, Corriere Della Sera and La Repubblica for Italy, El Mundo and El Pais for Spain, and The Times of London and Financial Times for the United Kingdom.

As with our American newspaper index, we count the number of newspaper articles containing the terms uncertain or uncertainty, economic or economy, and one or more policy-relevant terms. We conduct all searches in the native language of the newspaper in question. We scale the raw EPU count by a measure of the number of articles in the same newspaper and month.

We standardize each newspaper-level monthly series to unit standard deviation prior to 2011 and average across newspapers by month to obtain country-level and European EPU indexes, which we normalize to a mean of 100 prior to 2011. For country-level indexes, we average across each country's two newspapers. For the European-wide EPU index, we average equally across all 10 European newspapers.

With each monthly update, data from the preceding two months may be revised slightly, as well. This is driven by the fact that some online newspapers do not immediately update their online archives with all articles, leading to slightly changing totals for the previous 1-2 months.

An older vintage of the index, including data from Consensus Economics through March 2014, is also found in the downloadable data above.

Note The most recent value of the EPU Index for the United Kingdom is especially subject to revision in the following month. For the current month, the index reflects data for the Times of London though the end of the month and for the Financial Times through approximately the 16th of the month.