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Though Analysts Clash, Firm U.S. Recovery at Hand

A gauge of future economic growth made steady gains in the latest week, sending its yearly growth rate to a fresh 26-year high and suggesting a strong recovery is already in motion, 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 nearly a year-high of 125.0 in the week to Aug. 14 from an upwardly revised 124.4 the prior week, which ECRI originally reported at 123.9.

The index's annualized growth rate ticked up to 17.5 percent after hitting a 26-year high of 14.3 percent last week, which was also revised higher from 13.4 percent.

It was the highest yearly growth rate the index has seen since the week to July 29, 1983, when it was 17.8 percent.

"It is high time to break from the herd of pessimistic analysts, who will continue to bemoan economic weakness long after the Great Recession is history," said Lakshman Achuthan, Managing Director at ECRI.

Achuthan told Reuters last week that he expects the recovery to take hold at a stronger pace than any the U.S. has seen since the early 1980s.