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.



WLI growth at 38-week low

A measure of future U.S. economic growth rose in the latest week but its annualized growth rate fell, signaling a slowing in the pace of economic growth going forward, a research group said on Friday.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute, a New York-based independent forecasting group, said its Weekly Leading Index rose to an almost two-year high of 133.7 for the week ended April 23, from 133.0 the prior week.

That was the highest level since May 9, 2008, when it stood at 133.8.

But the index's annualized growth rate fell to a 38-week low of 12.4 percent from 12.5 percent a week earlier. That was the lowest since July 31, 2009, when it stood at 11.2 percent.

"With WLI growth declining to a 38-week low, overall U.S. economic growth will soon begin to ease, in line with the downshift in GDP growth shown in this morning's data," said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of ECRI.

Earlier, a government report showed the U.S. economy grew at a slightly slower-than-expected 3.2 percent pace in the first quarter, held back by inventories and exports, but resurgent consumer spending offered evidence of a sustainable recovery.

Analysts were expecting GDP growth of 3.4 percent after a 5.6 percent growth rate in the fourth quarter.