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WLI Growth Down, Double Dip Unlikely

A future U.S. economic growth gauge slipped in the latest week, and its yearly growth rate remained at levels reached in August 2009, maintaining a slim chances of a double-dip recession with slower growth in the near-term, a research group said on Friday.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute, a New York-based independent forecasting group, said its Weekly Leading Index fell slightly to 130.9 for the week ended Jan. 29 from 131.4 the prior week.

The index's annualized growth rate declined for the eighth straight week to 21.5 percent, from 22.7 percent the previous week.

The yearly growth measure has drifted from its October all-time high to its lowest reading since a year and a half ago, but ECRI Managing Director Lakshman Achuthan said trends pointing to a double-dip recession are "nowhere in sight."

"The continued easing in WLI growth indicates that U.S. economic growth will start decelerating in the coming months," Achuthan said.

ECRI's annualized growth rate figure sometimes move inversely to the WLI level, as the latter is derived from a four-week moving average.