Economists and investors alike pay much attention to the confidence level of consumers. Now they can keep an eye on how advisors are feeling, too.

A new index, called the Advisor Confidence Index, has been launched by AdvisorBenchmarking Inc. to get a steady measure of how advisors view the economy.

The company, which is an affiliate of Rydex Investments, will base the index on monthly surveying of a group of 150 independent RIAs. The results will be released on the last Monday of every month.

The index's scale will range from 33.33 to 166.67, with 33.33 representing very negative, 166.67 very positive and 100 marking total neutrality about the prospects of the economy.

Advisors are given four multiple-choice questions regarding their views of the current economy, the economy six-months ahead, and the economy a year from now. Advisors were chosen among those who have participated in the company's benchmarking surveys the past five years. Participants are required to be managing at least $25 million in assets and to be fee-based advisors who have been in business more than three years, according to the company.

The April index showed a reading of 123.96, which was up 1.56% from the very first index survey that was conducted in march, according to AdvisorBenchmarking.

"Advisors' optimism on the economy for the near term has been strong and climbing, triggered by the employment growth, satisfactory corporate earnings and the election year," says Ramy Shaalan, vice president of research at AdvisorBenchmarking. "For the next 12-month period, however, advisors are more cautious and their long-term outlook has not changed from last month, as the increased violence in Iraq, global terrorism and the potentially rising interest rates are causing a lot of uncertainty."