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Weekly Leading Index Holds Steady

A gauge of future U.S. economic growth held steady in the latest week, a report showed on Friday, although its annualized growth rate fell close to a 3-1/2-year low.

"The Weekly Leading Index growth has now dropped to a 179-week low, further dimming U.S. economic growth prospects," said Melinda Hubman, research associate at the Economic Cycle Research Institute, an independent forecasting group.

The index's annualized growth fell in the latest week to negative 1.6 percent. The prior week's growth rate was unrevised at negative 1.4 percent.

ECRI said its weekly leading index was 135.2 in the week ended Aug. 18, equal to last week's downwardly revised level...