Thursday, April 30, 2020

Weekly Economic Index (WEI)

April 30, 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 -11.58 percent, scaled to four-quarter GDP growth, for the week ending April 25 and -10.86 percent for April 18; for reference, the WEI stood at 1.58 for the week ending February 29.
  • The WEI for the week of April 25 was essentially unchanged today as a sizeable decline in tax withholdings and small decrease in electricity usage (after adjusting for 2019 levels) were offset by a fall in initial UI claims relative to recent weeks, a substantial rise in fuel sales, and a modest increase in rail traffic. The WEI for the week of April 18 was revised upwards as this morning’s continuing UI claims release was better than expected.
  • As alternative scales, the current WEI implies a 38.83 percent decrease in IP (YoY) and a 1570k employee decrease in nonfarm payroll.
  • Data dashboard and .release (.pdf)
  • Historical data including recent release (.xlsx)

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