Weekly Leading Index at 7-yr Low

A measure of future economic growth in the United States fell to a seven-year low and its annualized growth rate hit a 33-year low, indicating a severe recession is underway, a research group said on Friday.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute, a New York-based independent forecasting group, said its Weekly Leading Index fell to 114.0 in the week to Oct. 17, down from 117.0 in the previous period. It is at its lowest level since Oct. 26, 2001, when it stood at 112.7.

The index's annualized growth rate slid from minus 17.1 percent to negative 19.3 percent, its lowest since Jan. 10, 1975, when it was minus 19.4 percent, according to ECRI data.

"The nose dive in WLI growth to within half a point of its all-time low underscores the speed of deterioration in the economic outlook." said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director at ECRI...