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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.

NOTE: Due to the Thanksgiving Day holiday, the WEI was updated at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 24. Regularly scheduled updates will resume on Tuesday, Nov. 30.

November 24, 2021: Update

  • The WEI is currently 6.97 percent, scaled to four-quarter GDP growth, for the week ended November 20 and 6.87 percent for November 13; for reference, the WEI stood at 1.53 percent for the week ended February 29, 2020.
  • The increase in the WEI for the week of November 20 (relative to the final estimate for the week of November 13) is due to a decrease in initial unemployment insurance claims (relative to the same time last year) and increases in tax withholding, electricity output, and fuel sales, which more than offset a decrease in rail traffic (relative to the same time last year). The WEI for the week of November 13 was revised upward due to continuing unemployment insurance claims, which while higher than the previous week, still provided a more positive signal than previously available data. Because the WEI measures changes over a 52-week period, the large positive readings for the weeks of November 20 and November 13 also reflect the sharp deterioration in economic conditions during the same time last year. As an alternative measure, the data for the week ended November 13 indicates a +2.06 percentage point 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 jimstock.org.

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.