Thursday, August 20, 2020


Weekly Economic Index (WEI)

August 20, 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 -5.73 percent, scaled to four-quarter GDP growth, for the week ended August 15 and -6.07 percent for August 08; 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 15 (relative to the final estimate for August 8) was due to an increase in electricity output, which offset an increase in unemployment insurance initial claims and declines in fuel sales, tax withholding, and rail traffic (relative to the same time last year). The WEI for the week of August 8 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 21.99 percent decrease in IP (YoY) and a 811k employee decrease in nonfarm payroll.
  • Data dashboard and .release (.pdf)
  • Historical data including recent release (.xlsx)

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