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Economy in Brief

ECRI Leading Index: Meandering Movement
by Tom Moeller December 19, 2005

The weekly leading index of the US economy published by the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) fell 0.1% last week following a 0.1% gain the prior week. These muted changes underscore a pattern of sideways movement in the ECRI series since this past August. Growth in the index has since decelerated by more than half to 1.4%.

During the last ten years there has been a 53% correlation between the change in the weekly leading index and US real GDP growth during the following quarter. The correlation has risen to 76% during the last five years.

The recent deceleration in the leaders' growth is part of a longer lived deceleration since early last year when growth was near its peak of 12%. That slowdown mirrors the pattern toward slower growth in the leading series from the Conference Board and the OECD.

Visit the Economic Cycle Research Institute for analysis of US and international business cycles.

The Bretton Woods System: Are We Experiencing a Revival? Symposium Summary from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco can be found here.

Economic Cycle Research Institute  12/09/05 12/31/04 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Weekly Leading Index 135.4 132.5 2.9% 132.6 124.9 119.8
   6 Month Growth Rate 1.4% 1.6%   4.2% 6.7% 1.1%
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