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A Framework That Provides Clarity

During periods of “low visibility,” confusion reigns: for every indication of one trend, there seems to be a countertrend. The key is to glean from the collective wisdom of reliable leading indicators a clear signal that the economy is headed for a turn.

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WLI: No Double Dip


ECRI: All leading indexes are not created equal.

Please recall the mood in April when nobody was seeing a recovery ahead, including the Conference Board Leading Index, which was still falling.

In contrast, in April ECRI was predicting that the recession would end by summer. Please find today's story on the latest Weekly Leading Index update below.

A weekly measure of future U.S. economic growth slipped in the latest week, though its yearly growth rate surged to a 38-year high that suggests chances of a double-dip recession are slim.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute, a New York-based independent forecasting group, said its Weekly Leading Index for the week to Aug. 21 fell to 124.4 from a downwardly revised 124.9 the prior week, which was originally reported at 125.0.

But the index's annualized growth rate soared to a 38-year high of 19.6 percent from a downwardly revised 17.4 percent the prior week, a number which was originally 17.5 percent.

It was the WLI's highest yearly growth rate reading since the week to May 28, 1971, when it stood at 20.5 percent.

"With WLI growth continuing to surge through late summer, a double dip back into recession in the fourth quarter is simply out of the question," said ECRI Managing Director Lakshman Achuthan, reinstating the group's recent warning to ignore negative analyst projections...

Achuthan has recently projected that the recovery is moving at a stronger pace than any the United States has seen since the early 1980s.