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. Economists Daniel Lewis, Karel Mertens, and James Stock from the New York Fed, Dallas Fed, and Harvard University, respectively, created this indicator to represent the common component of 10 daily and weekly series covering consumer behavior, the labor market, and production.
These series are Redbook same-store sales; Rasmussen Consumer Index; new claims for unemployment insurance; continued claims for unemployment insurance; adjusted income/employment tax withholdings (from Booth Financial Consulting); railroad traffic originated (from the Association of American Railroads); the American Staffing Association Staffing Index; steel production; wholesale sales of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel; and weekly average U.S. electricity load (with remaining data supplied by Haver Analytics).
All series are represented as year-over-year percentage changes and are combined into a single index of weekly economic activity. This index is not an official forecast of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, its president, the Federal Reserve System, or the Federal Open Market Committee.