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 Holds Steady

A gauge of the U.S. economy held steady in the latest week..., a report showed on Friday.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute, an independent forecasting group, said its weekly leading index held steady at 135.0 in the week ended Oct. 7, unchanged from a downwardly revised 135.0 the previous week.

The index's annualized growth rate held at 1.7 percent. The previous week's reading was revised downward from an original 1.8 percent.

"The index generally has been sliding down after (Hurricane) Katrina hit, and the fact is, that although it was unchanged in the latest week, it's been trending down since the highs we saw in August," said Anirvan Banerji, director of research at ECRI.

"The real issue is yes, we all know ... that there is going to be a hit to consumer spending. The real question is whether the economy can take this hit and stay standing a few months down the road," Banerji said. He added that he saw no risk of recession.