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The growth rate for the Economic Cycle Research Institute's forward-looking gauge of the U.S. economy for the week ended Feb. 15 contracted 10.2%. ECRI's weekly leading index (WLI) level contracted to 132.3 from 133.1 in the prior period. The index measures weekly changes while the growth rate is derived from a four-week moving average.
"With WLI growth deep in negative territory, due mainly to weakness in the financial and construction sectors, the U.S. economy is on the verge of a recession," said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of the institute. "However, due to unusual factors, it may still be possible for quick stimulus to avert a recession."