NEW YORK, May 29 (Reuters) - A gauge of future U.S. economic growth rose for the sixth straight week, sending its yearly growth rate to its highest levels since last summer, a research group said on Friday.
The Economic Cycle Research Institute, a New York-based independent forecasting group, said its Weekly Leading Index ticked up to a 30-week high of 111.9 for the week ending May 22 from 111.0 the prior week, which was revised lower from 111.1.
The index's annualized growth rate surged to a 43-week high of negative 9.3 percent from last week's rate of negative 11.5 percent.
It was ECRI's highest yearly growth reading since the week ended July 25, 2008, when it stood at negative 8.1 percent, indicating that the growth rate should march into positive territory as the summer progresses.
"With WLI growth climbing by 20 percentage points in 26 weeks, the economic growth outlook is getting steadily brighter," said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director at ECRI.
The research group's far-seeing Long Leading Index is already in positive territory, so "it would be normal for WLI growth to follow suit in the coming months," Achuthan added.
The weekly index pushed higher due to stronger stock prices and lower jobless claims data, Achuthan said. (Reporting by Camille Drummond, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)