Friday, September 4, 2020


Weekly Economic Index (WEI)

September 3, 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 -4.41 percent, scaled to four-quarter GDP growth, for the week ended August 29 and -5.31 percent for August 22; 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 29 was due to a decline in initial unemployment insurance claims (relative to the same time last year) and increases in electricity output and tax withholding, which more than offset declines in fuel sales and rail traffic. The WEI for the week of August 22 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 an 18.02 percent decrease in IP (YoY) and a 650k employee decrease in nonfarm payroll.
  • Data dashboard and .release (.pdf)
  • Historical data including recent release (.xlsx)

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