Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Weekly Economic Index (WEI)

May 12, 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 -12.00 percent, scaled to four-quarter GDP growth, for the week ending May 09 and -11.14 percent for May 02; for reference, the WEI stood at 1.58 percent for the week ending February 29. 
  • Today’s decline in the WEI for the week of May 9 is a result of the weight placed on past values of the WEI in updates based on only partial data. This persistence outweighed modest recoveries in retail sales, consumer confidence, and steel production. The WEI for the week of May 2 was revised upwards after today’s release of the staffing index was less negative than previous data. 
  • As alternative scales, the current WEI implies a 40.09 percent decrease in IP (YoY) and a 7737k employee decrease in nonfarm payroll. 
  • Data dashboard and .release (.pdf) 
  • Historical data including recent release (.xlsx)

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