Thursday, August 13, 2020


Weekly Economic Index (WEI)

August 13, 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 -5.47 percent, scaled to four-quarter GDP growth, for the week ended August 8 and -6.53 percent for August 1; for reference, the WEI stood at 1.55 percent for the week ended February 29.
  • The increase in the WEI for the week of August 8 was due to a decline in initial unemployment insurance claims and increases in rail traffic and fuel sales, which more than offset decreases in electricity output and tax withholding. The WEI for the week of August 1 was revised downward due to the continuing unemployment insurance claims release, which while lower than the prior week, still provided a more negative signal than previously available data.
  • As alternative scales, the current WEI implies a 21.22 percent decrease in IP (YoY) and a 779k employee decrease in nonfarm payroll.
  • Data dashboard and .release (.pdf)
  • Historical data including recent release (.xlsx)

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