U.S. Economic Activity during the Early Weeks of the SARS-Cov-2 Outbreak

16 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2020

See all articles by Daniel J. Lewis

Daniel J. Lewis

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Karel Mertens

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

James H. Stock

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 1, 2020

Abstract

This paper describes a weekly economic index (WEI) developed to track the rapid economic developments associated with the response to the novel coronavirus in the United States. The WEI shows a strong and sudden decline in economic activity starting in the week ending March 21, 2020. In the week ending April 4, the WEI indicates economic activity has fallen further to -8.89 percent, scaled to four-quarter growth in GDP.

Keywords: weekly economic index, high frequency, measurement of economic activity

JEL Classification: C51, E01, E66

Suggested Citation

Lewis, Daniel J. and Mertens, Karel and Stock, James H., U.S. Economic Activity during the Early Weeks of the SARS-Cov-2 Outbreak (April 1, 2020). FRB of New York Staff Report No. 920, April 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3574732 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3574732

Daniel J. Lewis (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of New York ( email )

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Karel Mertens

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas ( email )

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James H. Stock

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

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