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 growth at new record high

With the economy still mired in a rut and consumer confidence struggling to rebound, the words “record high” are not something we hear very often (unless, perhaps, in reference to the job market). Which makes the surge in the growth rate of the Economic Cycle Research Institute’s Weekly Leading Indicator, the WLI, all the more impressive. “Rocketing is the word,” said Achuthan in an email.

Contrarian calls are nothing new for ECRI. Back in late 2000, when most Wall Street economists were looking for continued growth in the coming year, ECRI was a lone voice in predicting an imminent recession. Time proved them correct. In a recent presentation, managing editor Lakshman Achuthan makes a pretty convincing case for his firm’s recent forecasting record.

Now, with many economists saying a “new normal” of weak consumption and tepid growth is upon us, the folks at ECRI say wrong again:

“Given the growing strength in ECRI’s objective leading indexes, the odds are rising that at least the early stage of this economic recovery will be the strongest since the early 1980s.”

Needless to say, the group does not believe a double-dip is in the cards.