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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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Jan 03 2019

ECRI Weekly Leading Index Growth Nears 7-Year Low

The ECRI Weekly Leading Index (WLI) growth rate, which has stayed in a decisive downturn since early 2018, has already fallen to its lowest reading in nearly four years – a 199-week low.

That decline reaffirms its message that there’s no end in sight for the U.S. slowdown. This has been the prescient forecast of the ECRI index for the better part of a year, including last spring and summer, when stock prices were scaling new heights.



The original ECRI weekly index – sometimes referred to as the ECRI LEI – was created over 35 years ago by ECRI co-founder Dr. Geoffrey H. Moore, who developed the original index of leading economic indicators more than half a century ago, and gave it to the U.S. government. The WLI is the only publicly-available leading index that led both of the 21st century recessions and recoveries in real time, rather than being back-fitted after the fact.

The immediate question is whether WLI growth will plunge to its worst reading in nearly seven years, which would be an ominous sign for U.S. economic growth prospects.

As always, WLI data remains freely available every Friday at 10:30 am from ECRI’s website.

On desktop click here to download WLI data for free, including the full history of its level and growth rate.

On mobile click here to go to ECRI's Reports & Indexes page, then click the "Full Site" link to download the data.

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