Executive Briefings

Diesel Fuel Consumption Raises Questions About Recovery's Strength

With the release of April's figures, the Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index (PCI) by UCLA Anderson School of Management is showing flat, overall performance during the first four months of 2010. The PCI is based on an analysis of real-time diesel fuel consumption data from over the road trucking tracked by Ceridian, a global provider of electronic and stored value card payment services and human resources solutions.

The PCI in April fell 0.3 percent, suggesting the economic recovery may have stalled, although an uptick in consumer spending could continue to drive a slow but steady recovery. Year-over-year growth of 6.5 percent in the PCI marks the fifth straight month of steady increase at "better than normal" levels. However, year-over-year growth of 10 to 15 percent in the PCI is required to drive down the unemployment rate.

Overall, the PCI indicates that expectations in the market for a robust recovery may be too optimistic. The PCI closely tracks the Federal Reserve's monthly Industrial Production index, and with each PCI release comes a lowering of expectations for industrial production growth. The PCI now indicates such production to grow by 0.4 percent in April when the Federal Reserve releases its report on May 14. Last month, the PCI suggested an April growth rate of 0.6 percent, and in March, PCI anticipated an April increase of 0.85 percent.

The complete April report and additional commentary is available at www.ceridianindex.com.

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With the release of April's figures, the Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index (PCI) by UCLA Anderson School of Management is showing flat, overall performance during the first four months of 2010. The PCI is based on an analysis of real-time diesel fuel consumption data from over the road trucking tracked by Ceridian, a global provider of electronic and stored value card payment services and human resources solutions.

The PCI in April fell 0.3 percent, suggesting the economic recovery may have stalled, although an uptick in consumer spending could continue to drive a slow but steady recovery. Year-over-year growth of 6.5 percent in the PCI marks the fifth straight month of steady increase at "better than normal" levels. However, year-over-year growth of 10 to 15 percent in the PCI is required to drive down the unemployment rate.

Overall, the PCI indicates that expectations in the market for a robust recovery may be too optimistic. The PCI closely tracks the Federal Reserve's monthly Industrial Production index, and with each PCI release comes a lowering of expectations for industrial production growth. The PCI now indicates such production to grow by 0.4 percent in April when the Federal Reserve releases its report on May 14. Last month, the PCI suggested an April growth rate of 0.6 percent, and in March, PCI anticipated an April increase of 0.85 percent.

The complete April report and additional commentary is available at www.ceridianindex.com.

Read Full Article