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 Unchanged

A gauge of future U.S. economic growth was unchanged in the latest week, a report showed on Friday, but its annualized growth rate dipped into negative territory for the first time in more than a year.

Annualized growth in the Economic Cycle Research Institute's weekly leading index fell in the week to Aug. 4 to negative 0.4 percent. The prior week's growth rate was revised upward to 0.2 percent from an originally reported 0.1 percent.

"Weekly leading index growth has now entered negative territory for the first time in 14 months, underscoring the worsening in U.S. growth prospects," said Lakshman Achuthan, a managing director at the independent forecasting group.

The index's growth rate went negative while the index itself was flat because it is calculated from a four-week moving average, Achuthan said.

ECRI said its index was flat at 135.5. The prior week's figure was revised up to 135.5 from the 135.4 first reported...