July 17, 2009 / 2:45 PM / 11 years ago

ECRI yearly US economic growth gauge at 5-year high

NEW YORK, July 17 (Reuters) - A forward-looking measure of U.S. economic growth fell in the latest week but its yearly growth rate surged to levels last seen in 2004, easing concerns that a second economic stimulus may be needed from Washington, a research group said on Friday.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute, a New York-based independent forecasting group, said its Weekly Leading Index slipped to 118.1 in the week to July 10 from a revised 119.0 the prior week, which ECRI originally reported at 118.5.

The index’s annualized growth rate surged to a five-year high of 7.0 percent from 6.2 percent one week ago, which was revised higher from 5.4 percent.

It was the gauge’s highest yearly growth rate reading since the week ended May 14, 2004, when it was 7.1 percent.

Lakshman Achuthan, managing director at ECRI, said that he expects a smooth economic recovery in the near term, and that calls for a second stimulus are unnecessary.

“The recession is already ending,” he said. “With WLI growth surging to a five-year high, the recession’s days are numbered, and the coming recovery is looking more resilient.”

The weekly index inched lower largely due to softer housing activity, according to Achuthan. (Reporting by Camille Drummond, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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