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During periods of “low visibility,” confusion reigns: for every indication of one trend, there seems to be a countertrend. The key is to glean from the collective wisdom of reliable leading indicators a clear signal that the economy is headed for a turn.

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Future Inflation Gauge Eases


...The Economic Cycle Research Institute's U.S. Future Inflation Gauge, or USFIG, which is designed to anticipate cyclical swings in the rate of inflation, fell to 123.1 in August from 124.0 in July.

"While the USFIG is clearly below its October high, it has not dropped decisively. Thus, underlying inflation pressures have ebbed somewhat since the fall, but remain elevated," said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director for ECRI.

The October 2005 level was 126.5, its recent peak, Achuthan said.

The index's annualized growth rate, which smooths out monthly fluctuations, fell to negative 0.7 percent from a downwardly revised 1.1 percent in July. The growth rate was originally pegged at 1.7 percent.