Friday, January 29, 2021


Weekly Economic Index (WEI)

January 28 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 -2.28 percent, scaled to four-quarter GDP growth, for the week ended January 23 and -1.99 percent for January 16; 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 23 is due to an increase in initial unemployment insurance claims (relative to the same time last year) and decreases in tax withholding and electricity output, which more than offset rises in fuel sales and rail traffic. The WEI for the week of January 16 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 an 11.56 percent decrease in IP (YoY) and a 388k employee decrease in nonfarm payroll.
  • Data dashboard and .release (.pdf)
  • Historical data including recent release (.xlsx)

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