Thursday, August 6, 2020

Weekly Economic Index (WEI)

August 6, 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 -6.20 percent, scaled to four-quarter GDP growth, for the week ended August 01 and -7.01 percent for July 25; for reference, the WEI stood at 1.55 percent for the week ended February 29
  • Today’s increase in the WEI for the week of August 1 was driven by a decline in initial UI claims (the first value below 1 million since the week of March 14, 2020, in non-seasonally adjusted terms) and increases in rail traffic and tax withholding, which more than offset decreases in fuel sales and electricity output. The WEI for the week of July 25 was revised downward due to the continuing UI 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 23.44 percent decrease in IP (YoY) and a 869k employee decrease in nonfarm payroll.
  • Data dashboard and .release (.pdf)
  • Historical data including recent release (.xlsx)

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