US Daily News Index

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From August 7, 2013, we are featuring an improved version of our daily economic policy uncertainty index. The new version offers greater accuracy in the most recent data, and it better conforms to the measurement practices used in our monthly news-based EPU index. The old version of the daily EPU index remains available here and will continue to be updated.

The daily news-based Economic Policy Uncertainty Index is based on newspaper archives from Access World New's NewsBank service. The NewsBank Access World News database contains the archives of thousands of newspapers and other news sources from across the globe. While NewsBank has a wide range of news sources, from newspapers to magazines to newswire services, we conduct our analysis only utilizing newspaper sources.

We restrict our attention to newspapers in the United States, of which NewsBank covers well over 1000. These newspapers range from large national papers like USA Today to small local newspapers across the country. The data spans from 1985 to 2013.

Our primary measure for this index is the number of articles that contain at least one term from each of 3 sets of terms. The first set is economic or economy. The second is uncertain or uncertainty. The third set is legislation or deficit or regulation or congress or federal reserve or white house.

The number of newspapers that NewsBank covers over our sample period has drastically increased from 18 in 1985 to over 1800 by 2008. To correct for this growth, we must normalize our index of the number of economic policy uncertainty articles. To do this, we take daily counts of the total number of newspaper articles.

We update the series at ~6:00AM Pacific Standard Time. Note that each day we update the data from the current month and the last month, so these data are subject to changes. The rotating graph on the home page shows a 7-day moving average (current day + 6 previous days) of this daily data series.

Finally, we have also included the full set of data from our daily pulls. The "Full Daily Updates Data" provides a rolling set of 60 observations per day, giving the full set of results used to update the US Daily News-Based Index each day going forwards. Note in November 2012 the data changes from being derived from the number of articles with the word 'today' in them to the entire set of articles. The ongoing series is now entirely based on EPU articles normalized by 'all' articles, but in this daily updates data we kept the preceding daily updates using the 'today' series.

The above graph displays a representation of the daily news-based economic policy uncertainty index from January 1st, 2005 through October 4th, 2013. Two moving average representations of the highly-volatile series are show, a 7-day moving average (current day and 6 days prior) and a 30-day moving average (current day and 29 days prior). For a more detailed look, the raw and unsmoothed data can be downloaded from this page.