March 6, 2009 / 3:32 PM / in 9 years

U.S. recession has not yet hit bottom -ECRI

NEW YORK, March 6 (Reuters) - A measure of future U.S. economic growth dipped to a fresh 14-year low in the latest week while its annualized growth rate was unchanged, both still indicating the recession has yet to hit a trough, a research group said on Friday.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute, a New York-based independent forecasting group, said its Weekly Leading Index slipped to 105.2 for the week ending Feb. 27 from 105.5 in the previous week, initially reported as 105.6.

The reading was the lowest since the week to March 10, 1995, when it stood at 104.7 according to ECRI data.

The index’s annualized growth rate was unchanged at negative 24.1 percent.

“The WLI has now slipped to another new cycle low, suggesting that the end of this recession has yet to start taking shape,” said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director at ECRI.

The weekly index fell due to higher interest rates and to lower stock prices and housing, with the decline partly offset by higher commodity prices, Achuthan said. (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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