Thursday, May 14, 2020

Weekly Economic Index (WEI)

May 14, 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 -11.14 percent, scaled to four-quarter GDP growth, for the week ended May 09 and -10.91 percent for May 02; for reference, the WEI stood at 1.58 for the week ended February 29.
  • Today’s increase in the WEI for the week of May 09 was driven by a decrease in initial unemployment insurance (UI) claims and increases in fuel sales and electricity output. These factors more than offset a decrease in payroll withholdings and unchanged rail traffic. The upward revision to the WEI for the week of May 02 was due to a decrease in continuing UI claims, which may be due to some workers claiming benefits from pandemic relief programs instead of state programs.
  • As an alternative scale, the current WEI implies a 37.51 percent decrease in IP (YoY) and a 7238k employee decrease in nonfarm payroll. 
  • Data dashboard and .release (.pdf) 
  • Historical data including recent release (.xlsx)

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