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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ceridian-UCLA: Diesel Fuel index increases in December

by Calculated Risk on 1/11/2011 09:00:00 AM

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

Pulse of Commerce Index Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the index since January 1999.

Press Release: Year-End Surge Reported in Latest Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index™

The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index™ (PCI), a real-time measure of the flow of goods to U.S. factories, retailers and consumers, surged 2.4 percent in December and pushed the PCI above its previous 2010 peak established in May. This performance, combined with November’s 0.4 percent increase, was enough to offset three previous consecutive months of decline.

“The latest PCI data further evidences the positive economic sentiment felt since the start of the New Year,” explained Ed Leamer, chief PCI economist and director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast. “However, we have not entirely escaped the summer doldrums as the three-month moving average is still below its July 2010 level.”
The PCI tracks closely on a monthly basis to the Industrial Production Index (to be released later this month) and GDP. Though the forecasts for subsequent growth remain weak, the December surge translates into a very favorable growth of industrial production by .6 percent. Similarly, the PCI outlook for fourth quarter 2010 GDP is more optimistic, but is still expected to be less than current consensus estimates.
The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index™ is based on real-time diesel fuel consumption data for over the road trucking ...
I'm not confident in using this index to forecast GDP growth, although it does appear to track Industrial Production over time (with plenty of noise). Industrial Production for December will be released on Friday.