David E. Altig, Scott Baker, Jose Maria Barrero, Nicholas Bloom, Philip Bunn, Scarlet Chen, Steven Davis, Julia Leather, Brent Meyer, Emil Mihaylov, Paul Mizen, Nicholas Parker, Thomas Renault, Pawel Smietanka, Gregory Thwaites, 24 July 2020

Measures of economic uncertainty derived from statistical models are not well suited to quickly capture shifts associated with sudden, surprise developments like the COVID-19 crisis, thus necessitating forward-looking measures. This column considers several such forward-looking indicators of economic uncertainty for the US and UK before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. All indicators show huge jumps in uncertainty in reaction to the pandemic and its economic fallout. Most indicators reach their highest values on record, but the extent of increases and time paths differ.

Danilo Leiva-León, Gabriel Pérez-Quirós, Eyno Rots, 21 June 2020

The Global Weakness Index (GWI) is a real-time measure of how weak the global economy is. This column uses GWI to assess the repercussions of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis in real time. It finds that, after the release of certain soft indicators on 2 March 2020, the GWI increased sharply – much faster than in the 2008 crisis. Moreover, the index remained at a record high at the time of writing, 14 May 2020.

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