Inflation models, spectral index and observational constraints
DESY Theory Group, Notkestrasse 85
22603 Hamburg, Germany

We have evaluated the observational constraints on the spectral index $n$, in the context of a $\Lambda$CDM model. For $n$ scale-independent, as predicted by most models of inflation, present data require $n\simeq 1.0 \pm 0.1$ at the 2-$\sigma$ level. We have also studied the two-parameter scale-dependent spectral index, predicted by running-mass inflation models. Present data allow significant variation of $n$ in this case, within the theoretically preferred region of parameter space