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Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Ceridian-UCLA: Diesel Fuel index declines in May

by Calculated Risk on 6/08/2011 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

Press Release: Pulse of Commerce Index Falls 0.9 percent in May

The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index™ (PCI), issued today by the UCLA Anderson School of Management and Ceridian Corporation fell 0.9 percent on a seasonally and workday adjusted basis in May, after falling 0.5 percent in April.

“The index has now declined in four of the first five months of 2011, and in eight of the past twelve months,” said Ed Leamer, chief PCI economist and director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast. ... “On a year over year basis, the PCI was flat in May. This was disappointing in that it ended a string of seventeen straight months of year over year improvement in the index,” Leamer continued. “One small glimmer of good news is that May of last year was the strongest month of 2010, and this month’s result nearly cleared that hurdle. Nevertheless, the PCI showed no growth, and this is another indication that the economy is stuck in neutral.”
Pulse of Commerce Index Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

This graph shows the index since January 2000.
“Over time, the PCI has proven to be a leading and amplified indicator of both Industrial Production and GDP,” explained Craig Manson, senior vice president and Index expert for Ceridian. “The May result further reinforces our long-held cautious outlook for below consensus growth in GDP, and suggests that second quarter GDP growth will be less than 2 percent. Similarly, the PCI is anticipating Industrial Production to show modest growth of 0.05 percent for May when the number is released by the Government on June 15, 2011.”
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.

Note: This index does appear to track Industrial Production over time (with plenty of noise).