US economic growth index climbs to 3-week high-ECRI

NEW YORK, March 20 (Reuters) - A measure of future U.S. economic growth rose in the latest week while its annualized growth rate steadied, indicating that economic conditions are beginning to stabilize, a research group said on Friday.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute, a New York-based independent forecasting group, said its Weekly Leading Index climbed to 105.8 for the week ending March 13 from 105.2 in the previous week, which was revised up from 104.8.

It was the highest reading since since February 20, when the index was 106.0.

The index’s annualized growth rate remained unchanged at negative 23.9 percent, with the previous week’s figure revised higher from negative 24.1 percent.

“WLI growth held steady in the latest week and is clearly holding above its December low, suggesting that U.S. economic growth will stabilize in coming months,” said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director at ECRI.

The weekly index edged up due to stronger housing activity and weaker jobless claims, partly offset by higher interest rates, Achuthan said.

Reporting by Camille Drummond, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama