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Weekly Leading Index Up

A gauge of future U.S. economic growth was up in the latest week... with its annualized rate of growth at a five-week high, a research group said on Friday.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute, an independent forecasting group, said its Weekly Leading Index inched up to 140.3 in the week ending March 9 from 140.2 in the prior week.

Annualized growth rate rose to 3.7 percent from an upwardly revised 3.3 percent in the previous period.

"After easing for five weeks, WLI growth has bounced back to a five-week high, which is well above last summer's lows," said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director at ECRI. "The WLI's recent performance belies current recession fears."

The rise in the index was partly offset by lower commodity prices, Achuthan said.