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Weekly Leading Index Slips

A gauge of future U.S. economic growth slipped in the latest week... although its annualized growth rate rose to a six-week high, a research group said on Friday.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute, an independent forecasting group, said its Weekly Leading Index inched down to 140.2 in the week to March 16 from 140.3 in the prior week.

Its annualized growth rate, however, rose to 3.9 percent from the previous week's 3.7 percent.

"The rebound in WLI growth to a six-week high affirms that U.S. economic growth prospects are still reasonably positive," said Melinda Hubman, research associate at ECRI.

The fall in the weekly index was partly offset... Hubman said.

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