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Measuring Real Activity Using a Weekly Economic Index
This paper describes a weekly economic index (WEI) developed to track the rapid economic developments associated with the onset of and policy response to the novel coronavirus in the United States. The WEI is a weekly composite index of real economic activity, with eight of ten series available the Thursday after the end of the reference week. In addition to being a weekly real activity index, the WEI has strong predictive power for output measures and provided an accurate nowcast of current-quarter GDP growth in the first half of 2020. We document how the WEI responded to key events and data ...
Using Data to Show When Recessions End
Could weekly data—such as the Weekly Economic Index—be used in calculating when recessions end, in addition to monthly and quarterly data?
High Frequency Data and a Weekly Economic Index during the Pandemic
This paper describes a weekly economic index (WEI) developed to track the rapid economic developments associated with the onset of and policy response to the novel coronavirus in the United States. The WEI, with its ten component series, tracks the overall economy. Comparing the contributions of the WEI’s components in the 2008 and 2020 recessions reveals differences in how the two events played out at a high frequency. During the 2020 collapse and recovery, it provides a benchmark to interpret similarities and differences of novel indicators with shorter samples and/or nonstationary ...