November 7, 2008 / 3:35 PM / 11 years ago

US leading econ index growth rate at record low-ECRI

NEW YORK, Nov 7 (Reuters) - A measure of future economic growth in the United States fell to a 12 and a half-year low and its annualized growth rate set a fresh record low, indicating a severe recession is underway, a research group said on Friday.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute, a New York-based independent forecasting group, said its Weekly Leading Index fell to 110.9 in the week to Oct. 31, down from 112.9 in the previous period. The index is now at its lowest level since April 12, 1996, when it stood at 110.7.

The index’s annualized growth rate slid from minus 21.9 percent to negative 24.6 percent, its lowest ever, according to ECRI data.

“With WLI growth diving to a new record low over its six decade history, prospects for U.S. economic growth are worsening swiftly,” said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of ECRI.

The weekly leading index (WLI) fell due to higher interest rates, slower money supply growth and weaker housing activity, which was offset in part by lower jobless claims, he said.

Reporting by Ciara Linnane; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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