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Weekly Economic Index

The Weekly Economic Index (WEI) provides a signal of the state of the U.S. economy based on data available at a daily or weekly frequency. It represents the common component of 10 different daily and weekly series covering consumer behavior, the labor market and production. It is updated Tuesday and Thursday at 10:30 a.m. CT, using data available up to 8 a.m. CT.

April 22, 2021: Update

  • The WEI is currently 12.27 percent, scaled to four-quarter GDP growth, for the week ended April 17 and 11.81 percent for April 10; 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 April 17 reflects increases in tax withholding and rail traffic, which more than offset an increase in initial unemployment insurance claims (relative to the same time last year) and decreases in electricity output and fuel sales. The WEI for the week of April 10 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. Because the WEI measures changes over a 52-week period, the large positive readings for the weeks of April 17 and April 10 also reflect the sharp deterioration in economic conditions during the same time last year. As an alternative measure, the data for the week of April 10 indicates a -4.15 percent change in activity relative to February 2020.

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NOTES: When federal holidays occur on a publishing date or change the release schedule for the underlying data, the report is delayed by 24 hours. Data are updated at Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and

WEI Authors

The WEI was developed by Daniel J. Lewis, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Karel Mertens, senior economic policy advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; and James H. Stock, professor of economics at Harvard University.