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Weekly Leading Index Slips

A gauge of future U.S. economic growth fell in the latest week, while annualized growth hit a 44-week high, a research group said on Friday.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute, an independent forecasting group, said its Weekly Leading Index slipped to 138.5 in the week ending Dec. 22 from 139.7 in the prior week...

However, annualized growth in the week ended Dec. 22 rose to 3.8 percent from 3.4 percent in the prior period, a reading not reached since last February.

"Given the steady improvement in the WLI, recession is no longer a serious concern," said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director at ECRI.

The decrease in the overall index was partly offset... Achuthan said.

Occasionally the index and the growth rate can move in different directions because the latter is derived from a four-week moving average.