Christian Gayer, Andreas Reuter, Fiona Morice, 29 November 2021

Uncertainty can have an important impact on economic activity, but it is not directly observable. This column presents the features of the European Commission’s new index for uncertainty in the economy, based on its EU-wide Programme of Business and Consumer Surveys, and its evolution in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the stringency of the related restrictions. It also compares the indicator to survey-based indicators of economic confidence, as well as to other existing uncertainty gauges, and offers a glimpse of the rich set of geographical, sectoral, and sub-sectoral breakdowns of the new data.

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