Thursday, April 16, 2020

Weekly Economic Index (WEI)

April 16, 2020


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

The WEI is an index of 10 weekly indicators of real economic activity, scaled to have the units of four-quarter percent change of real GDP.
  • The WEI is currently -11.04 percent, scaled to 4-quarter GDP growth, for the week ending April 11 and -8.42 percent for April 04; for reference, the WEI stood at 1.58 percent for the week ending February 29.
  • Today’s decline in the WEI is driven by the continued fall of fuel sales, to about half the level seen in 2008, due to stay-at-home orders and similar restrictions, considerably lower federal tax withholdings, a fourth successive week of initial UI claims in the millions (4.97 million NSA), and further decreases in rail traffic and electric utility output.
  • As alternative scales, the current WEI implies a 37.22 percent decrease in IP (YoY) and a 1502k employee decrease in nonfarm payroll.
  • Data dashboard and .release (.pdf)
  • Historical data including recent release (.xlsx)

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