NEW YORK, June 26 (Reuters) - A gauge of future U.S. economic growth rose, and its yearly growth rate turned positive, raising hopes that the end of the recession is in sight, 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 a 37-week high of 117.6 for the week ending June 19, from a downwardly revised 117.0 the previous week.
The index's annualized growth rate spiked to a 97-week high of 2.1 percent from minus 0.6 percent a week ago.
It was ECRI's highest yearly growth reading since the week ended August 10, 2007, when it stood at 3.4 percent.
"Following a 28-week upturn, WLI growth has broken into positive territory for the first time in over 22 months -- an affirmation that an end to the recession is at hand," said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director at ECRI.
The weekly index rose in the latest week because of stronger housing activity and investor confidence, Achuthan said. (Reporting by Ciara Linnane; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)