Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Weekly Economic Index (WEI)

March 24, 2020


Daniel Lewis, New York Fed
Karel Mertens, Dallas Fed
James Stock, Harvard University

The WEI is an index of 7 weekly indicators of real economic activity, scaled to have the units of four-quarter percent change of real GDP.

  • Based on the partial data currently available for the week ending March 21, the WEI is 0.99 percent, essentially unchanged from its value of 1.01 for the week ending March 14. For reference, the WEI stood at 1.60 percent for the week ending February 29.
  • Despite the volatility in financial markets and the first major economic shutdowns in response to the coronavirus, overall economic activity was flat last week as measured by the currently available data. The Rasmussen Consumer Index declined sharply, however same-store sales rose, reflecting stockpiling, and steel production was roughly flat.
  • Data released over the next two days, especially new claims for unemployment insurance, will provide a fuller picture of last week, and the WEI for last week could be revised down sharply based on those data.
  • Data dashboard and .pdf of release

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