US Daily News Index
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 and construct a 1 year moving average of the series.
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 change somewhat. Due to issues of uploading newspaper articles to NewsBank, not all articles are linked to NewsBank immediately. Because of this, data we get from the most recent several days are likely to be understated relative to their eventual 'true' value. We implement a forecasting factor for the most recent 7 days based on past trends to try to give a more accurate prediction of recent days 'true' value. For instance, the measured number of articles from 1 day ago is multiplied by 1.45 and the measured number of articles from 4 days ago is multiplied by 1.075. More than 7 days into the past we use a forecasting factor of 1, as by then the approximate 'true' total number of articles has been uploaded to NewsBank.
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.