Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ceridian-UCLA: Diesel Fuel index increases sharply in May

by Bill McBride on 6/10/2010 11:20:00 AM

This is the new UCLA Anderson Forecast and Ceridian Corporation index using real-time diesel fuel consumption data: Pulse of Commerce IndexTM

Press Release: PCI Strikes Optimistic Note For U.S. Economy with 3.1 Percent Gain in May

With a monthly increase not seen since February 1999, the Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index™ (PCI) by UCLA Anderson School of Management climbed 3.1 percent in May. The increase represents the strongest indicator yet from the PCI that the U.S. economy is on the upswing.
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“Absent good news from the usual recovery indicators – consumer optimism expressed by buying homes and cars, and business optimism expressed by hiring – the spike in the PCI is indeed very welcome news for the economy,” said Ed Leamer, the PCI’s chief economist. “One month does not make a trend, but at least we are back in a recovery groove.”

The May result makes up for April’s decline of 0.3 percent and for the PCI’s flat, overall performance during the first four months of 2010.
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The PCI is based on an analysis of real-time diesel fuel consumption data ...
Pulse of Commerce Index Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the index since January 1999.

Note: This index appears to lead Industrial Production (IP), but there is a significant amount of monthly noise. This is a new index and might be interesting to follow along with the Trucking and Railroad data.

Here is a video of Leamer's comments on the report. After a few months of almost no growth, this index increased sharply in May.