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posted on 13 May 2016

06 May 2016: ECRI's WLI Growth Index Continues Its Advance In Positive Territory

ECRI's WLI Growth Index which forecasts economic growth six months forward advanced higher in positive territory for the seventh week - after spending the previous 34 consecutive weeks in negative territory.

Current ECRI WLI Level and Growth Index:

Here is this week's update on ECRI's Weekly Leading Index (note - a positive number indicates growth):

U.S. Weekly Leading Index Ticks Down

The U.S. Weekly Leading Index (WLI) ticked down to 135.0 from 135.7. The growth rate edged up to 5.7% from 5.4%.

The U.S. economic slowdown is set to continue, as the latest WLI upturn is not sufficiently pronounced, pervasive and persistent - the three P's - to qualify as a true cyclical upturn. Rather, it partly reflects the run-up in the markets as the early-2016 recession fears among the consensus faded, with the Fed backing off its rate hike plans, the dollar weakening, and some data beating significantly lowered expectations.

To put the economy in perspective please see links below:

- watch Lakshamn Achuthan's interview with Tom Keene at Bloomberg TV.

- read ECRI's "Flawed Assumptions and Grand Experiments," presented by Lakshman Achuthan at the Levy Economics Institute's 25th Annual Hyman P. Minsky Conference. Please follow this link to the presentation slides.

- watch Lakshamn Achuthan's interviews with Simon Constable at Forbes':Recession Fears Still Overblown, U.S. Headed for 'Stagflation-Lite' and What The Fed Can Learn From Carl Sagan

For a closer look at recent moves in the U.S. Weekly Leading Index, please see the chart below:

ECRI produces a monthly coincident index - a positive number shows economic expansion. The March number (issued in April) shows slower economic growth.

The U.S. Coincident Index (USCI) ticked down to 169.8 in March from 169.9. Year-over-year (yoy) growth in ECRI's USCI, a broad measure of economic activity that includes GDP, employment, income and sales, has slipped to 2.16%, a 27-month low.

Over a year ago (US Essentials, January 2015) - contrary to the consensus that expected economic growth to improve even further as the year progressed - ECRI's leading indexes foresaw a slowdown.

z ecri_coin.png

ECRI produces a monthly inflation index - a positive number shows increasing inflation pressure.

U.S. Future Inflation Gauge:

z ecri_infl.PNG

U.S. Future Inflation Gauge at 93-month High

U.S. inflationary pressures were up in April, as the U.S. future inflation gauge gained to 107.8 from a downwardly revised 107.6 reading in March, according to data released Friday morning by the Economic Cycle Research Institute.

The March reading was first reported as 107.8.

"The USFIG rose again in April to a 93-month high," ECRI Chief Operations Officer Lakshman Achuthan said in a release. "Thus, underlying inflation pressures continue to climb."

ECRI produces a monthly Lagging index. The March's economy's rate of growth (released in April) showed the rate of growth was flat.

U.S. Lagging Index:

z ecri_lag.PNG

source: ECRI

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