Thursday, April 23, 2020

Weekly Economic Index (WEI)

April 23, 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 -11.70 percent, scaled to 4-quarter GDP growth, for the week ending April 18 and -10.40 percent for April 11; for reference, the WEI stood at 1.58 for the week ending February 29.
  • Today’s decline in the WEI was driven by a fifth successive week of initial UI claims in the millions (4.27 million NSA), a considerable fall in federal tax withholdings (now negative year-on-year), and a further modest decrease in rail traffic. These factors offset a small increase in fuel sales. The slight upward revision of the 4/11 number resulted from the continuing UI claims release providing a slightly less negative signal than before.
  • As alternative scales, the current WEI implies a 39.19 percent decrease in IP (YoY) and a 1585k employee decrease in nonfarm payroll. 
  • Data dashboard and .release (.pdf)
  • Historical data including recent release (.xlsx)

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful device ... thank you! It appears the index is a coincident one. Yet some of the components are leading (Ex - Unemployment Claims). Are there enough leading components in this index, to combine with other weekly data that may be out there, to comprise a Leading Index version?
    Jim Birkel, Pleasant Hill, IA