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WLI Growth at Record High


A weekly gauge of future U.S. economic growth rose to a level last seen one year ago, while its annual growth rate hit a fresh record high, feeding hopes of a recovery immune to looming economic threats.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute, a New York-based independent forecasting group, said its Weekly Leading Index rose to 126.2 in the week to Sept. 11 from an upwardly revised 126.0 the prior week, a figure ECRI originally reported as 125.4.

It was the group's highest index reading since Aug. 29, 2008, when it was 126.3.

The index's annualized growth rate ticked up to a fresh record high of 22.9 percent from an upwardly revised high of 22.5 percent, which was originally reported as 21.3.

Such a concerted move among all of the index's components suggest an "unstoppable" recovery ECRI Managing Director Lakshman Achuthan told Reuters.

Achuthan has recently said that a double-dip recession is highly unlikely, and that an economic turnaround will be stronger than many analysts project.

"We have never wavered on our call precisely because at this stage of the cycle there are no relevant roadblocks," Achuthan said, adding that concerns over mounting unemployment, debt-laden consumers, and dips in a recovery are typical of recessionary times.

"Variations of these fears have existed at this stage of the last 20 business cycle recoveries spanning over a century."

Such a rise in ECRI's WLI growth to a record high "confirms that in the coming months, the economic recovery will surprise a cautious consensus," Achuthan said.
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