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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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U.S. Future Inflation Gauge Falls


Overall U.S. inflation pressures fell in February...

The Economic Cycle Research Institute's U.S. Future Inflation Gauge, or USFIG, which is designed to anticipate cyclical swings in the rate of inflation, edged down to 123.1 in February from an an upwardly revised 123.5 month.

"The USFIG remains below October's five-and-a-half-year high," the report said.

The index's annualized growth rate, which smoothes out monthly fluctuations, fell to 3.5 percent from an upwardly revised 4.6 percent in December. The growth rate was originally pegged at 3.9.

"Despite a modest dip, the USFIG is not far below October's five-and-a-half-year high. Thus, it is still premature to conclude that a cyclical downswing in underlying inflation pressures is already underway," according to Lakshman Achuthan, managing director for ECRI.