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US economic growth rate at 23-week high -ECRI

 NEW YORK, April 3 (Reuters) - A measure of future U.S.
economic growth edged up and its annualized growth rate reached
a 23-week high though it was still in negative territory,
suggesting clearer signs of economic recovery, 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 106.7 for the week ending March 27 from 106.2 in the
previous week, which was revised down from 106.3.
 The index's annualized growth rate resumed its recent
upswing and was at negative 22.2 percent, up from the prior
week's rate of negative 23.2 percent. The growth rate was at
its highest reading since mid-October.
 "With WLI growth rising to a 23-week high, an upturn in the
U.S. growth rate cycle is now in clear sight," said Lakshman
Achuthan, managing director at ECRI.
 The weekly index rose due to higher stock prices and
stronger housing activity, and was partly offset by higher
interest rates and claims for state jobless benefits, Achuthan
said.
 (Reporting by Camille Drummond, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)


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