Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ceridian-UCLA: Diesel Fuel index increases in March

by Calculated Risk on 4/12/2011 10:57:00 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 2000.

Press Release: Pulse of Commerce Index Jumps 2.7% in March

The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index™ (PCI), issued today by the UCLA Anderson School of Management and Ceridian Corporation rose 2.7% on a seasonally and workday adjusted basis in March, more than offsetting the 0.3% decline in January and the 1.5% decline in February. On a quarter over quarter basis, the PCI is up 3.9% at an annualized rate, a welcome acceleration from the weak growth of the PCI in the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2010. It’s better, but not yet exceptional ...

The PCI growth of 3.9% for the first quarter of 2011 is a middle-of the-road number, signaling that we are not in either one of the extremes: the recession is over, but a robust recovery isn’t here.
...
Over time, the PCI has shown a substantial correlation with Industrial Production. Last month, the PCI suggested Industrial Production for February would come in flat to slightly down at -.02% , and it did. The strong March PCI suggests a 0.8% gain in industrial production for March when that data are released by the Federal Reserve on April 15.
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The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index™ is based on real-time diesel fuel consumption data for over the road trucking ...
This index was useful in tracking the slowdown last summer, and the increase in March - after back-to-back to monthly declines - is welcome news.

Note: This index does appear to track Industrial Production over time (with plenty of noise) and this suggests a strong reading for March. Industrial Production for March will be released on April 15th.