Economy gauge up but in recession territory: ECRI

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A gauge of future U.S. economic growth and its annualized growth rate both edged up in the latest week but they still point to a U.S. economy in recession, a research group said on Friday.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute, a New York-based independent forecasting group, said its Weekly Leading Index edged up to 132.1 in the week to April 18 from 132 the prior week.

The uptick was due to higher stock prices and lower jobless claims. These positive factors were partly offset by higher interest rates and slower housing activity, said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director at ECRI.

The index’s annualized growth rate remained negative, but improved to minus 9.7 percent from minus 10.2 percent. It’s the highest since minus 8.8 percent in the week ended February 1.

“WLI growth has recovered to an 11-week high, but remains deep in recession territory, therefore it is premature to forecast a business cycle recovery,” Achuthan said.

Reporting by Anastasija Johnson; Editing by James Dalgleish