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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.

September 23, 2021: Update

  • The WEI is currently 7.64 percent, scaled to four-quarter GDP growth, for the week ended September 18 and 8.25 percent for September 11; for reference, the WEI stood at 1.53 percent for the week ended February 29, 2020.
  • The decline in the WEI for the week of September 18 (relative to the final estimate for the week of September 11) is due to decreases in fuel sales and rail traffic (relative to the same time last year) and a rise in initial unemployment insurance claims, which more than offset increases in electricity output and tax withholding. The WEI for the week of September 11 was revised upward due to continuing unemployment insurance claims, which while higher than the prior 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 September 18 and September 11 also reflect the sharp deterioration in economic conditions during the same time last year. As an alternative measure, the data for the week ended September 11 indicates a +0.72 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

    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.