Thursday, June 4, 2020

Weekly Economic Index (WEI)

June 4, 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 -10.08 percent, scaled to four-quarter GDP growth, for the week ended May 30 and -9.36 percent for May 23; for reference, the WEI stood at 1.58 percent for the week ended February 29.
  • Today’s increase in the WEI for the week of May 30 was led by the continued fall in initial UI claims, supported by increases in rail traffic and electricity output relative to the same time last year. These factors more than offset lower fuel sales and a small decrease in payroll withholdings. The WEI for the week of May 23 was revised upwards as the continuing UI claims release, while an increase over the prior week, was less negative than other data.
  • As alternative scales, the current WEI implies a 35.28 percent decrease in IP (YoY) and a 1343k employee decrease in nonfarm payroll. 
  • Data dashboard and .release (.pdf) 
  • Historical data including recent release (.xlsx)

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