Blacking Out

Yvan Lengwiler (2020). Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics. Springer, 156(7), 1-10.

The partial shutdown of the economy following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the lack of measurements of economic activity that are available with a short lag and at high frequency. The consumption of electricity turns out to be a valuable proxy, if it is corrected for influences from calendar and weather. Indeed, this proxy suggests that we are currently facing one of the deepest recessions ever.