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Weekly Leading Index Down

A gauge of future U.S. economic growth was down in the latest week... but its growth index hit a 49-week high, a research group said on Friday.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute, an independent forecasting group, said its Weekly Leading Index fell to 140.8 in the week ending Jan. 12 from a downwardly revised 141.7 in the prior week.

Annualized growth rate was up to 4.4 percent from an upwardly revised 4.1 percent in the previous period.

"With WLI growth climbing to a 49-week high, the U.S. economic growth outlook looks increasingly positive," said Melinda Hubman, research associate at ECRI. The drop in the WLI level was offset... Hubman said.