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No upturn in sight for U.S. business cycle - ECRI

NEW YORK, Aug 1 (Reuters) - A gauge of future U.S. economic growth fell to its lowest in nearly five years and its annualized growth rate was at a 12-week low, indicating the U.S. economy is stuck in a business cycle downturn, a research group said on Friday.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute, a New York-based independent forecasting group, said its Weekly Leading Index fell to 128.1 in the week to July 25 from 129.5 in the previous period, upwardly revised from 129.4.

The index declined to its lowest since Oct. 10, 2003 due to weaker housing, higher interest rates and jobless claims, and its fall was partly offset by higher stock prices, said in an instant message interview Lakshman Achuthan, managing director at ECRI.

The index’s annualized growth rate slid to a near 3-month low at negative 7.6 percent from minus 6.9 percent.

“With the WLI level falling to a new low for this cycle, a business cycle upturn is still not on the horizon,” Achuthan said. (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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