Global Economic Policy Uncertainty Index

Download Global EPU Data                    Annotated Global EPU Index

We are pleased to release a monthly index of Global Economic Policy Uncertainty (GEPU) that runs from January 1997 to the present. The GEPU Index is a GDP-weighted average of national EPU indices for 21 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Each national EPU index reflects the relative frequency of own-country newspaper articles that contain a trio of terms pertaining to the economy (E), policy (P) and uncertainty (U). In other words, each monthly national EPU index value is proportional to the share of own-country newspaper articles that discuss economic policy uncertainty in that month. For China, we use a hybrid index that is an average of one based on the South China Morning Post and one based on mainland newspapers. For a detailed discussion of how we construct the country-level EPU indices, see Measuring Economic Policy Uncertainty.

To construct a Global Economic Policy Uncertainty (GEPU) Index, we proceed as follows: First, we re-normalize each national EPU index to a mean of 100 from 1997 (or first year) to 2015. Second, we impute missing values for certain countries using a regression-based method. This step yields a balanced panel of monthly EPU index values for 21 countries from January 1997 onwards. Third, we compute the GEPU Index value for each month as the GDP-weighted average of the 21 national EPU index values, using GDP data from the IMF's World Economic Outlook Database.

We construct two versions of the GEPU Index - one based on current-price GDP measures, and one based on PPP-adjusted GDP. The 21 countries that enter into the GEPU Index account for about 71% of global output on a PPP-adjusted basis and roughly 80% at market exchange rates. For additional discussion of our GEPU Index, see An Index of Global Economic Policy Uncertainty.

We thank Hannah Ni and Asher Rose for assistance in constructing the Global Economic Policy Uncertainty Index.