Japan Monthly Index

Download Data                                          Annotated Japan EPU Index

We are pleased to host several new economic policy uncertainty indices for Japan developed by Elif C. Arbatli, Steven J. Davis, Arata Ito, Naoko Miake and Ikuo Saito.

RIETI hosts a Japanese-language version of this web page here and also provides Japanese-language versions of the data file and annotated charts.

Newspaper coverage of policy-related economic uncertainty

To construct an index of overall economic policy uncertainty (EPU) for Japan, they count articles in four major Japanese newspapers (Yomiuri, Asahi, Mainichi and Nikkei) that contain at least one term in each of three categories: (E) 'economic' or 'economy'; (P) 'tax,' 'government spending', 'regulation,' 'central bank' or certain other policy-related terms; and (U) 'uncertain' or 'uncertainty'. They scale the raw EPU counts by the number of articles in the same newspaper and month, standardize each paper's series of scaled counts to the same variability over time, and then average across papers by month to obtain their overall EPU index. See "Policy Uncertainty in Japan" for more information and Table 1, in particular, for the full list of E, P and U terms in Japanese and their English-language translations.

They also construct uncertainty indices for monetary policy, fiscal policy, trade policy and exchange rate policy for Japan. To do so, they specify additional criteria for those articles that contain their triple of terms about the economy, policy and uncertainty. See their Table 2 for the full list of category-specific terms.

All of their measures are monthly from 1987 to the present. Each index is normalized to a mean value of 100 from 1987 to 2015. Data for the overall Japan EPU index and each of the category-level indices are available here. and at the link above. Regular monthly updates will be posted to this website.

For a description of the earlier version of the Japan EPU index based on the work of Baker, Bloom and Davis (Quarterly Journal of Economics, November 2016) and a link to the earlier, now discontinued data series, see here.