IMF headquarters in Washington, DC, USA. [IMF]

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has dissociated itself from the World Uncertainty Index (WUI) report that put Kenya’s investment environment as the second most uncertain in the world.

In a statement posted on its website, the IMF said that while the WUI has been generated by two of its employees, it is not part of its publications.

“The IMF fully dissociates itself with the content of the article. Please be aware that the World Uncertainty Index that is cited in the article, developed independently by researchers, is not an official IMF output,” said the IMF in a statement in an article carried by The Standard.

The Standard regrets and apologises to the IMF for the misattribution of the index in its earlier report.

The WUI was generated by three researchers, two of whom work for the IMF. Hites Ahir, is a senior research officer in the IMF’s Research Department while Davide Furceri is deputy division chief in the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department.

The third author of the report is Nicholas Bloom, a professor of economics at Stanford University.

A quarterly measure of uncertainty, WUI was constructed in March 2020.

It covers 143 countries  - all countries in the world with a population of at least 2 million. It goes back in time, providing data for the past 60 years.

The Standard has since then been running stories on the index done by the three authors and even attributed them to the Washington-based IMF which has never denied it.

The IMF, however, insisted that the index is not part of its publications which explains why it is not on its website.

The index is constructed by text-mining country reports from the Economist Intelligence Unit, a business intelligence firm that provides country reports on a quarterly basis.

These reports cover each country’s economy, policies, and politics, said the three authors in the March 2020 issue of Finance and Development, a magazine published by the IMF.

Uncertainty in different countries is informed by different events, for example, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in the US created a lot of nervousness in the world.

Other than the WUI, there is also the World Pandemic Uncertainty Index (WPUI) which was updated on July 13, 2022.

This dataset includes the World Pandemic Uncertainty Index (WPUI) at the global and country level. It also includes an index that measures discussions about pandemics at the global and country level. And it also includes the charts for both indexes with each of the spikes labelled.

The World Uncertainty Spillover Index (WUSI) was also updated on July 13, 2022, and includes the World Uncertainty Spillover Index for the G7 countries and China.

It also includes charts for uncertainty spillovers related to the United States and the United Kingdom.

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