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Weekly Index Edges Up

A weekly leading indicator of U.S. economic activity pushed higher last week, a report on Friday showed.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute's Weekly Leading Index (WLI) rose to 121.8 in the week ended April 19 from 121.0 in the prior week.

"The uptrend continues," said Anirvan Banerji, ECRI research director. "There is no double-dip."
The U.S. government reported earlier on Friday the economy grew at an annual rate of 5.8 percent in the January-March period, compared with growth of 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.

The index's growth rate -- which compares the four-week moving average with its behavior over the preceding year -- edged lower for the fourth straight week to 4.0 percent from 4.3 percent.

That says something about the strength of the recovery, not its sustainability, said Banerji.

"Is it going to be a very strong recovery? Obviously not, and that's consistent with the fact that we didn't have a very deep recession," he said.

The Weekly Leading Index is composed of a balance of seven major economic indicators. ECRI designs short- and long-term indexes aimed at predicting business cycles, recessions and recoveries in the world's leading economies.