Weekly Economic Index (WEI)
January 21 2021
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 -1.98 percent, scaled to four-quarter GDP growth, for the week ended January 16 and -1.67 percent for January 9; for reference, the WEI stood at 1.55 percent for the week ended February 29.
- The decline in the WEI for the week of January 16 (relative to the final estimate for the week of January 9) is due to an increase in initial unemployment insurance claims (relative to the same time last year) and a decrease in tax withholding, which more than offset rises in retail sales, steel production, and rail traffic. The WEI for the week of January 9 was revised upward due to an increase in the staffing index, which more than offset a rise in continuing unemployment insurance claims (relative to the same time last year).
- As alternative scales, the current WEI implies a 10.66 percent decrease in IP (YoY) and a 351k employee decrease in nonfarm payroll.
- Data dashboard and .release (.pdf)
- Historical data including recent release (.xlsx)