The Aruoba-Diebold-Scotti business conditions index is designed to track real business conditions at high observation frequency. Its underlying (seasonally adjusted) economic indicators (weekly initial jobless claims; monthly payroll employment, monthly industrial production, monthly real personal income less transfer payments, monthly real manufacturing and trade sales; and quarterly real GDP) blend high-frequency and low-frequency data. The ADS index on this web page is updated in real time as new or revised data on the index's underlying components are released. Hence at the time of any ADS update, the index is based on all information on all indicators available at that time.
The average value of the ADS index is zero. Progressively bigger positive values indicate progressively better-than-average conditions, whereas progressively more negative values indicate progressively worse-than-average conditions. The ADS index may be used to compare business conditions at different times. A value of -3.0, for example, would indicate business conditions noticeably worse than at any time in either the 1990-91 or the 2001 recession, during which the ADS index never dropped below -2.0.
The ADS business conditions index is based on the framework developed in Aruoba, S.B., Diebold, F.X. and Scotti, C. (2009), "Real-Time Measurement of Business Conditions," Journal of Business and Economic Statistics 27:4 (October 2009), pp. 417-27.
Subsequently implemented refinements to the ADS index are discussed in "Updates on ADS Index Calculation."