In Japan, an index compiled since 1977 by the government-backed Nippon Research Institute. It is based on a quarterly survey of about 1500 consumers; the scale measures the inverse of consumer confidence. A score of 100 indicates that consumers feel the economy will remain about the same for the next twelve months. Higher scores indicate an expectation of economic decline; scores below 100 indicate an expectation of prosperity.
In Israel, an index reported by Haifa University from an annual poll of citizens, on a scale from 1 to 6. The 2002 value was 5.21, up from 4.92 the previous year.
In the United States, the Anxious Index, based on the quarterly Survey of Professional Forecasters conducted since 1968, originally by the American Statistical Association and the National Bureau of Economic Research, and since 1990 by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. The surveyed forecasters estimate the probability, on a percentage scale, that the real GDP will shrink in the quarter following the quarter in which the survey is taken. The index is the average of their predictions.
The name was coined¹ by the journalist David Leonhardt and quickly adopted by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve.
The current and historical values can be found at www.phil.frb.org/files/spf/prob.txt; scroll to “Mean Probability of Decline in Real GDP.”
Forecast too sunny? Try the Anxious Index.
New York Times, 1 September 2002.
Copyright © 2002 Sizes, Inc. All rights reserved.
Last revised: 25 November 2002.