Thursday, December 3, 2020


Weekly Economic Index (WEI)

December 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 -2.31 percent, scaled to four-quarter GDP growth, for the week ended November 28 and -2.87 percent for November 21; 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 28 is due to a decrease in initial unemployment insurance claims and rises in tax withholding, fuel sales, and rail traffic (relative to the same time last year), which more than offset a decline in electricity output. The WEI for the week of November 21 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 11.67 percent decrease in IP (YoY) and a 392k employee decrease in nonfarm payroll.
  • Data dashboard and .release (.pdf)
  • Historical data including recent release (.xlsx)

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