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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.

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ECRI WLI Ticks Up


Growth in a weekly leading index designed to forecast U.S. economic activity showed a burst of momentum last week after weakening throughout December.

According to the Economic Cycle Research Institute, its weekly leading index grew 3.7% in the week ended Jan. 10, up from 2.5% in the prior week and the strongest rate since late September.

The index itself increased to 134.5 from 133.4 in the previous week. ECRI says "occasionally the WLI level and growth rate can move in different directions, because the latter is derived from a four-week moving average."

The December ECRI index growth rate slowed to 2.0% from 2.9% in November.

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