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Weekly Leading Index growth at new high

A gauge of future U.S. economic growth edged up in the latest week... while its growth rate edged up to a fresh three-year high, a research group said on Friday.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI), an independent forecasting group, said its Weekly Leading Index edged up to 142.7 in the week ended May 11 from a downwardly revised 142.6 in the prior week.

The WLI's annualized growth rate rose to 6.1 percent, a three-year high, from 5.2 percent the previous week.

"With WLI growth hitting a fresh three-year high, U.S. economic growth is increasingly likely to firm in the months ahead," said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director at ECRI.

The growth figure was at 6.2 percent in the week ended May 21, 2004.