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Weekly Leading Index Edges Down


[A] leading index of the U.S. economy [was] about unchanged at a 15-month low, a report said on Friday.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute, an independent forecasting group, said its weekly leading index fell to 131.1 in the week ended July 23 compared with a reading of 131.2 in the previous week.

The index's annualized growth rate, which smooths out weekly fluctuations, edged further down to 0.9 percent from 1.1 percent in the previous period. The growth rate hit its lowest level since the week of April 18 last year.

"The decline in the index is completely consistent with the easing of growth shown in Friday's second-quarter gross domestic product report, said, Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of ECRI.

"The combination of the continued decline in the weekly leading index and the latest GDP report make it very difficult to argue that the weakness shown in the summer economic data is a pause that refreshes," Achuthan added.