Year-on-year, activity growth is still growing. Shown below are the Lewis-Mertens-Stock (NY Fed) WEI, and the Woloszko (OECD) Weekly Tracker, and the Baumeister-Leiva-Leon-Sims Weekly Economic Conditions Index for the US, for data up to a few days ago (September 17th):

Figure 1: Lewis-Mertens-Stock (NY Fed) Weekly Economic Index (blue), Woloszko (OECD) Weekly Tracker (tan), Baumeister-Leiva-Leon-Sims Weekly Economic Conditions Index for US plus 2% trend (green) Source: NY Fed via FREDOECDWECI, and author’s calculations.

The WEI took a dive from the previous week, down to 1.8% from 2.8%, while the Weekly Tracker continued to rise. It’s fair to say there some divergence, which is not surprising, given the large differences in methodologies. The WEI relies on correlations in ten series available at the weekly frequency (e.g., unemployment claims, fuel sales, retail sales). The Weekly Tracker is “big data” approach that uses Google Trends and machine learning to track GDP.


Keep reading this article on Econbrowser Blog - James Hamilton & Menzie Chinn.

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