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US yearly econ growth forecast at 6-month high-ECRI

 NEW YORK, April 17 (Reuters) - A weekly measure of U.S.
future economic growth slipped, while its annualized growth
rate climbed to levels last seen in October 2008, indicating
that economic recovery is probable in the coming months, a
research group said Friday.
 The Economic Cycle Research Institute, a New York-based
independent forecasting group, said its Weekly Leading Index
slipped to 107.2 for the week ending April 10 from 107.4, which
was revised lower from 107.9.
 But the index's annualized growth rate -- which has seen
nearly a six-month upswing -- rose to negative 19.7 percent
from the prior week's rate of negative 20.9 percent, revised
lower from negative 20.6 percent.
 It was the highest yearly growth reading since the week of
Oct. 17, 2008, when the rate plunged to a 33-year low of minus
17.1 percent, according to ECRI data.
 "With the upturn in Weekly Leading Index growth continuing
for over five months now, growth in U.S. economic activity will
begin to improve in short order," said Lakshman Achuthan,
managing director at ECRI.
 The weekly index level fell because of higher interest
rates and weaker housing activity and was partly offset by
higher commodity prices, Achuthan said.
 (Reporting by Camille Drummond; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)


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