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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ceridian-UCLA: Diesel fuel consumption increases in March

by Calculated Risk on 4/13/2010 11:43:00 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: March PCI Increase Indicates U.S. Economy on 4 Percent Growth Track

Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index™ (PCI) by UCLA Anderson School of Management staged a healthy comeback in March, with the PCI growing by 1 percent, making up for February’s snowstorm-induced decline of 0.7 percent. The adjusted index grew from 107.4 to 108.5, continuing its climb from a recessionary low of 100.7 in June 2009. ... [T]he March PCI shows growth over the prior year period for the fourth consecutive month. This follows twenty-two consecutive months of year-over-year declines experienced prior to December 2009.
“The good news in March is that the economy is still recovering at a pace that should support job growth, although unfortunately not at a pace that will drive rapid improvement in the unemployment rate. GDP needs to grow at a 5 to 6 percent rate to drive meaningful change in unemployment,” said Ed Leamer, chief economist for the PCI.

For the first quarter of 2010, the PCI grew at an annualized rate of 9.7 percent, a solid gain but not enough to offset the declines of 14 percent and 16 percent suffered in the fourth quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009. “In other words, we fell into the recession much more rapidly than we are climbing out of it,” Leamer said.
Pulse of Commerce Index Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the index since January 1999 (monthly and 3 month average). There is significant variability month to month.

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.