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U.S. Business Cycle Recovery to Keep Going

A future U.S. economic growth gauge fell slightly in the latest week and its yearly growth rate slid to the lowest level since August 2009, though the data still points to continued strides in the recovery, a research group said on Friday.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute, a New York-based independent forecasting group, said its Weekly Leading Index read 131.4 for the week ended Jan. 22, coming off the prior week's 83-week high of 132.2.

The index's annualized growth rate declined for the seventh straight week to 22.7 percent, from a revised 23.5 percent the previous week.

Though yearly growth has drifted from its October all-time high to its lowest reading since Aug. 28, 2009, ECRI Managing Director Lakshman Achuthan maintains the group's projections that there is no double-dip recovery in sight.

"With the WLI staying near the previous week's 83-week high, the U.S. business cycle recovery is set to keep going in the months ahead," Achuthan said.

He also pointed to government data released earlier on Friday showing that the U.S. economy grew at a faster-than-expected pace for the fourth quarter.

"With GDP growth rebounding 12 percentage points in just three quarters, the V-shaped recovery foreseen last summer by the WLI is coming into focus."

ECRI's annualized growth rate figure sometimes move inversely to the WLI level, as the latter is derived from a four-week moving average.