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.



Weekly Leading Index Edges Down

A gauge of future U.S. economic growth fell to its lowest level in nearly five years and its annualized growth rate was also down, indicating that an upturn in the business cycle is not yet in sight, a research group said on Friday.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute, a New York-based independent forecasting group, said its Weekly Leading Index fell to 129.4 in the week to July 18 from 131.1 in the previous period, downwardly revised from 131.2.

The decline in the index --to its lowest since it hit 129.0 in the week to Oct. 24, 2003... managing director at ECRI said in an instant message interview.

The index's annualized growth rate slipped to a 10-week low at negative 6.9 percent from minus 6.5 percent, revised down from minus 6.4 percent.

"The way a good leading index works is that its level always turns up months before the end of the recession," Achuthan said. "With the WLI level falling to its lowest reading in nearly five years, it is clear that a business cycle recovery is nowhere in sight."