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Double dip fears 'remain unfounded'

A measure of future U.S. economic growth rose to its highest level in seven weeks, while its yearly growth gauge rebounded after a 12-week slide, indicating a pullback in the pace of recovery in the coming months, 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 130.9 for the week ended March 12, up from 130.4 the previous week, which was revised down from an original 130.6.

After falling for 12 consecutive weeks, the index's annualized growth rate component rose slightly to 13.1 percent, from a downwardly revised 12.8 percent the prior week, originally reported as 13.1 percent.

Last week's yearly growth reading marked its lowest level since July 2009.

"Double dip fears remain unfounded, but with WLI growth remaining in a cyclical downtrend, U.S. economic growth will soon begin to throttle back," said ECRI Managing Director Lakshman Achuthan.

Achuthan told Reuters last week that, although the group's yearly growth gauge accelerated to record levels in Fall 2009, coincident indicators such as improvement in retail sales will likely begin to ease come summer.