Staff Reports
U.S. Economic Activity during the Early Weeks of the SARS-Cov-2 Outbreak
Number 920
April 2020

JEL classification: C51, E01, E66

Authors: Daniel J. Lewis, Karel Mertens, and Jim Stock

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.

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AUTHOR DISCLOSURE STATEMENT(S)
Daniel Lewis
The author declares that he has no relevant or material financial interests that relate to the research described in this paper. Prior to circulation, this paper was reviewed in accordance with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York review policy, available at https://www.newyorkfed.org/research/staff_reports/index.html.

Karel Mertens
The author declares that he has no relevant or material financial interests that relate to the research described in this paper. Prior to circulation, this paper was reviewed in accordance with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York review policy, available at https://www.newyorkfed.org/research/staff_reports/index.html.

James Stock
The author declares that he has no relevant or material financial interests that relate to the research described in this paper. Prior to circulation, this paper was reviewed in accordance with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York review policy, available at https://www.newyorkfed.org/research/staff_reports/index.html.