FOGGY FORECAST?

Physician's Money Digest, February28 2003, Volume 10, Issue 4

Some number crunchers are still debating about whether the economy is making its way out of the current recession or about to double-dip. To the forecasters at the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI; www.businesscycle.com), however, things are looking up. The institute's Weekly Leading Index (WLI) has been on the rise from the low it hit in October 2002. ECRI massages a blend of 7 major economic indicators to come up with the WLI, and its track record of success dates back to the 1950s. Without the threat of war with Iraq, say ECRI officials, the recovery would most likely be much sharper, but business leaders aren't willing to pump up production or hire new workers while the possibility of war looms.