UCLA Commerce Index Increases for 14th Month
"The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index (PCI), issued yesterday by the UCLA Anderson School of Management and Ceridian Corporation fell 0.3% on a seasonally and monthly workday adjusted basis in January, giving up some of December’s exceptional 1.8% sequential gain. Because of the very strong December showing, the three-month annualized moving average is up 5.1% and gaining strength (see chart above). This follows a string of weak or negative readings experienced in the second half of last year, further supporting our view that there is no evidence for a “double dip” in 2011. Importantly, however, we are not yet seeing signs of the growth required to drive meaningful employment gains.
The PCI grew 3.4% on a year-over-year basis in January. This marked the 14th consecutive month of year-over-year growth in the index. Growth of 3.4% is respectable, but not exceptional – particularly when compared to the gains recorded in April through July of 2010. However, like last month, the year-over-year growth is encouraging because January of last year was strong, and the index was able to grow over that strong comparison."