Thursday, January 13, 2011

UCLA Commerce Index Hits 30-Month High in Dec.

Here's another pretty new index for Carpe Diem, I've only reported on this once before, it's the Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index," here's a description: 

"The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index (PCI) by UCLA Anderson School of Management is based on real-time fuel consumption data for over the road trucking and serves as an indicator of the current state and possible future direction of the U.S. economy. By tracking the volume and location of diesel fuel being purchased, the index closely monitors the over the road movement of produce, raw materials, goods-in-process and finished goods to U.S. factories, retailers and consumers."

From today's report on the December PCI:

"The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index (PCI), a real-time measure of the flow of goods to U.S. factories, retailers and consumers, surged 2.4 percent in December and pushed the PCI above its previous 2010 peak established in May. This performance, combined with November’s 0.4 percent increase, was enough to offset three previous consecutive months of decline.

“The latest PCI data further evidences the positive economic sentiment felt since the start of the New Year,” explained Ed Leamer, chief PCI economist and director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast. “However, we have not entirely escaped the summer doldrums as the three-month moving average is still below its July 2010 level.”

On a year-over-year basis, the PCI increased 4.1 percent in December, in line with the November and October year-over-year comparisons. Importantly, growth in December comes on top of a very strong year-ago performance whereas the previous eleven months of year-over-year growth in 2010 were up against relatively weak prior year comparisons. It should be noted, however, that the 4.1 percent growth figure is only slightly higher than the 3 percent growth characteristic of a normal economy."

MP: The PCI reached a 30-month high in December at 111.87, the highest index level since June 2008, providing additional evidence of an ongoing economic expansion and recovery. 

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