Thursday, March 4, 2021


Weekly Economic Index (WEI)

March 4, 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 February 27 and -2.65 percent for February 20; for reference, the WEI stood at 1.55 percent for the week ended February 29, 2020.
  • The increase in the WEI for the week of February 27 is due to a decrease in initial unemployment insurance claims (relative to the same time last year) and rises in fuel sales and rail traffic, which more than offset declines in tax withholding and electricity output. The WEI for the week of February 20 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 11.57 percent decrease in IP (YoY) and a 387k employee decrease in nonfarm payroll.
  • Data dashboard and .release (.pdf)
  • Historical data including recent release (.xlsx)

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