Weekly Leading Index Edges Up

A leading index of the U.S. economy ticked up in the latest week, but the rate of growth slowed to a near one-year low... a report said on Friday.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute, an independent forecasting group, said its weekly leading index rose to 134.1 in the week ended May 28 compared with a downwardly revised 133.7 in the previous week.

However, the index's annualized growth rate, which smooths out weekly fluctuations, decreased for the third week in a row to 6.5 percent from 7.4 percent in the previous period. The pace of growth was at its lowest level in nearly a year, when it registered 6.2 percent growth in the first week of June 2003.

"(The index) is not forecasting a very vulnerable economy. I wouldn't go that far. It's not forecasting a serious downturn," said the group's managing director Lakshman Achuthan.

"But it is stating very clearly that the strongest growth is behind us." ...