Near-term U.S. economy recovery is wishful thinking: ECRI

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A measure of future economic growth in the United States fell slightly and its annualized growth rate inched up but is still deep in recessionary territory, indicating the U.S. business cycle is still far from an upturn, a research group said on Friday.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute, a New York-based independent forecasting group, said its Weekly Leading Index rose to 126.0 in the week to September 5 from 126.2 in the previous period, revised from 126.3.

Its annualized growth rate inched up to negative 11.6 percent from minus 11.7 percent in the previous week.

The index’s fall was due to weaker money supply growth and lower stock prices, and it was offset in part by lower interest rates, said Melinda Hubman, research associate at ECRI.

“Despite a slight uptick WLI growth remains solidly in recession territory, suggesting that the prospect of a near-term business cycle recovery amounts to wishful thinking,” she said.

Occasionally the WLI level and growth rate move in different directions, because the rate is derived from a four-week moving average.

Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Theodore d’Afflisio