The Anxious Index> > > >
In an article on September 1, 2002, New York Times reporter David Leonhardt used the term anxious index to refer to the probability of a decline in real GDP, as reported in the Survey of Professional Forecasters. The survey asks panelists to estimate the probability that real GDP will decline in the quarter in which the survey is taken and in each of the following four quarters. The anxious index is the probability of a decline in real GDP in the quarter after a survey is taken. For example, in the survey taken in the third quarter of 2020, the anxious index is 20.4 percent, which means that forecasters believe there is a 20.4 percent chance that real GDP will decline in the fourth quarter of 2020.
The accompanying chart shows the movements of the anxious index over time.
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