Weekly Economic Index Shows Signs of Stabilization

Summarized from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Weekly Economic Index (WEI), a real-time measurement of the state of the economy, has shown a slower decline in the three weeks prior to the week ending May 9, the last week data is available. This indicates that the economy is steadying follow the massive declines of March and April after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down much of the country.

The WEI is an index of 10 data series: same-store sales, consumer confidence, new unemployment claims, continued unemployment claims, income tax withholdings, railroad traffic, staffing levels, steel production, fuel sales, and electricity usage.

Prior to the widespread outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States, the WEI stood at 1.58 on Feb. 29. The index began falling rapidly after that, hitting -10.86 by Apr. 18. Since then, the decline has been more gradual, measuring at -11.14 on May 9.

The U.S. Chamber notes that although the hope is the worst of the economic fallout is now in the past, that the small dip in the May 9 numbers could be the beginning of another decline. However, the gradual reopening of businesses in several states should help promote increased economic activity.