A Framework That Provides Clarity

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.



US WLI Nearly Flat

A weekly index of U.S. economic activity was nearly flat last week, with a gain far too small to signal a bottom in the current downturn, the Economic Cycle Research Institute said on Friday.

ECRI's Weekly Leading Index rose to 114.4 in the week ended Oct. 26 from 114.2 in the previous week.

"Bottom line, there's no recovery yet. This is a global recession," said Anirvan Banerji, ECRI research director. But Banerji said these were minor weekly fluctuations, not a discernible sign of a positive trend.

The index's growth rate, which compares the four-week moving average with its behavior over the preceding year, was unchanged at -8.7 percent in the latest week, after a minor upward revision of last week's reading.

Some analysts say a reading between zero and -3.0 percent suggests an economic slowdown, while a reading below -4.0 percent points to recession. The growth rate has been at recessionary levels for six straight weeks.

The Weekly Leading Index is composed of a balance of major economic indicators.

ECRI designs short- and long-term indexes aimed at predicting business cycles, recessions and recoveries in the world's leading economies.