ECRI Index of U.S. Economy Climbs

A leading index of the U.S. economy climbed higher in the latest week, but its growth rate remained flat, suggesting the speedy pace of economic expansion could slow, a report showed Friday.

The Economic Cycle Research Institute (search), an independent forecasting group, said its leading index rose to 130.1 in the week ended Oct. 31, compared with a downwardly revised reading for the previous week of 128.2.

The index's growth rate, however, an annualized rate for the four-week moving average that evens out weekly fluctuations, held steady at 10.3 percent.

After reaching an annual high this summer, the flat growth rate may suggest that stimuli fueling the sizzling pace of economic growth will wear off at some point.

"What's the next act?" said ECRI managing director Lakshman Achuthan. "Yes, there's moderation on the horizon. And no the economy is not collapsing."

The weekly leading index is composed of seven major economic indicators. ECRI designs short- and long-term indexes aimed at predicting business cycles (search), recessions and recoveries in the world's leading economies.