The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index (PCI), issued by the UCLA Anderson School of Management and Ceridian Corp. fell 1.4 percent in August on a seasonally and workday-adjusted basis, following a 0.2 percent decline in July.
“July and August results indicate that the PCI will decline in the third quarter suggesting GDP growth of 0.0 to 1.0 percent,” said Ed Leamer, chief economist for the Ceridian-UCLA PCI and director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast. “The August number supports the pattern of sluggish economic growth coming out of a recession, which is something that we’ve seen in the past. What we’re experiencing is the new normal, where the U.S. economy will continue to stumble forward until a new growth engine is identified. Essentially, the economy is in need of an innovation burst.
“The PCI continues to prove its value in providing insight into the U.S. economy. While previously being flat, recent seven-day-average diesel volumes have dropped by 2 percent from July 23 to Aug. 19, excluding the holiday impact; however, the last week of August suggests some improvement.”
On a year-over-year (YOY) basis, the PCI was up 0.4 percent in August. While the YOY growth trend continues–the PCI has grown on a YOY basis every month since January 2010 except for May 2011–this is down from the 1 percent YOY increase in July.
During the past four months, the YOY increase of the PCI has fallen below 1 percent compared to 3.0+ percent in the first four months of the year, further indicating the weakness in the economy.
The weakness in the PCI during the past several months called for a zero percent change in the July industrial production–the initial release of 0.9 percent was stronger, although subject to revisions.
Because of the continued weakness evident in the PCI, the forecast for August industrial production is a 0.26 percent decline when released Sept. 15.
The complete August report, regional analysis and additional commentary are available at www.ceridianindex.com or by contacting email@example.com. 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 email 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.