October 3, 2008 / 2:40 PM / 11 years ago

Yearly economic growth rate at 33-year low: ECRI

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A measure of future economic growth in the United States edged up slightly but its annualized growth rate fell to a 33-year low, hitting severe recession levels, 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 122.2 in the week to September 26, from 122.1 in the previous period, revised from 122.2.

Its annualized growth rate slid, however, from minus 12.3 percent to negative 13.3 percent, its lowest since February 25, 1975, when it was minus 13.7 percent, according to ECRI data.

“With WLI growth plunging to its lowest reading since the severe 1973-75 recession, the 2008 recession is set to get noticeably worse,” said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director at ECRI.

The index level ticked up due to higher commodity and stock prices but was mostly offset by weaker housing activity and higher interest rates, he said.

Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by James Dalgleish

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