Thursday, July 16, 2020

Weekly Economic Index (WEI)

July 16, 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 -6.63 percent, scaled to four-quarter GDP growth, for the week ended July 11 and -7.21 percent for July 04; for reference, the WEI stood at 1.54 percent for the week ended February 29.
  • Today’s increase in the WEI for the week of July 11 is driven by increases in fuel sales, electricity production, and tax withholding, which more than offset an increase in initial UI claims and a decrease in railroad traffic (relative to this time last year). The WEI for the week of July 4 was revised downwards due to the continuing UI claims release, which, while lower than last week (relative to this time last year), still provided a more negative signal than previous data. 
  • As alternative scales, the current WEI implies a 24.68 percent decrease in IP (YoY) and a 920k employee decrease in nonfarm payroll. 
  • Data dashboard and .release (.pdf)
  • Historical data including recent release (.xlsx)

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