Pulse of Commerce Index Increased 0.2 Percent in December;
MINNEAPOLIS and LOS ANGELES, Jan. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index® (PCI®), issued today by the UCLA Anderson School of Management and Ceridian Corporation, rose 0.2 percent in December following the 0.1 percent increase in November and the 1.1 percent increase in October.
Although December’s news is positive, the combined effect of the three consecutive positive months was not enough to offset the weakness of trucking last summer and the PCI in December 2011 is 1.2 percent below its June 2011 level. In the past three months, compared to the prior three months, the PCI increased at an annualized rate of 0.5 percent. On a year-over-year basis, the PCI was down 0.7 percent in December compared to the 0.9 percent year-over-year increase in the prior month.
“Many Wall Street economists have jacked up their ‘backcasts’ for fourth quarter GDP growth to 3 percent but the PCI does not support this view,” said Ed Leamer, chief economist for the Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index and Director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast. “The PCI measures inventories destined for factories, stores and homes, and the decline in the PCI in the third quarter correctly anticipated the large negative contribution of inventories to GDP growth.” With all three months of the fourth quarter now available, the PCI suggests fourth quarter GDP growth of 2.0 percent or less.
“With real retail sales growing more rapidly than the PCI over the last two quarters, however, the first half of 2012 may be an inventory-rebuilding period, allowing inventories to make a substantial contribution to GDP growth,” said Leamer.
Based on the latest PCI data, the forecast for December Industrial Production is a 0.29 percent increase when the government estimate is released on January 18.
The complete December report, regional analysis and additional commentary are available at www.ceridianindex.com, by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or by following the Twitter handle @CeridianIndex. The site offers further detail such as Index graphs and downloadable data, video commentary and sound bites, information on how the data is obtained, and the opportunity to receive updates on the latest information via e-mail and RSS feeds.
About Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index
The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index® is based on real-time diesel fuel consumption data for over the road trucking and serves as an indicator of the state and possible future direction of the U.S. economy. By tracking the volume and location of fuel being purchased, the index closely monitors the over the road movement of raw materials, goods-in-process and finished goods to U.S. factories, retailers and consumers. Working with economists at UCLA Anderson School of Management and Charles River Associates, Ceridian provides the Index monthly. Ceridian is a global business services company providing electronic and stored value card payment services and human resources solutions. UCLA Anderson School of Management is perennially ranked among top-tier business schools in the world. Charles River Associates is a leading global consulting firm that offers economic, financial, and business management expertise to organizations around the world.
For additional information on the Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index, please visit www.ceridianindex.com.
SOURCE Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index