Thursday, November 26, 2020


Weekly Economic Index (WEI)

November 25, 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 -2.83 percent, scaled to four-quarter GDP growth, for the week ended November 21 and -3.00 percent for November 14; for reference, the WEI stood at 1.55 percent for the week ended February 29.
  • The increase in the WEI for the week of November 21 (relative to the final revision for the week of November 14) is due to a decrease in initial unemployment insurance claims (relative to the same time last year) and a rise in electricity output which more than offset declines in tax withholding, rail traffic, and fuel sales (relative to the same time last year). The WEI for the week of November 14 was revised downward due to continuing unemployment insurance claims, 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 13.23 percent decrease in IP (YoY) and a 455k employee decrease in nonfarm payroll.
  • Data dashboard and .release (.pdf)
  • Historical data including recent release (.xlsx)

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