Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index is up 2.7 percent in March

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
April 13, 2011

Following a cumulative 1.8 percent decline in January and February, the March edition of the Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index (PCI) was up 2.7 percent in March.

This increase marks the third time the PCI has been up in the last eight months and the 16th consecutive month it has been up on an annual basis.

The PCI, according to Ceridian and UCLA, is based on an analysis of real-time diesel fuel consumption data from over-the-road trucking and is tracked by Ceridian, a provider of electronic and stored value card payment services. The PCI data is accumulated by analyzing Ceridian’s electronic card payment data that captures the location and volume of diesel fuel being purchased by trucking companies. It is based on real-time diesel fuel purchases using a Ceridian card by over the road truckers at more than 7,000 locations across the United States.

The PCI also closely tracks the Federal Reserve’s Industrial Production data as well as GDP growth. In February, it was correct in predicting Industrial Production would be flat to even at .02 percent. And for March it expects a 0.8 percent gain in industrial production.

“The PCI growth of 3.9% for the first quarter of 2011 is a middle-of the-road number, signaling that we are not in either one of the extremes,” said Ed Leamer, chief PCI economist and director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast, in a statement. “In other words, the recession is over, but we are not yet experiencing a robust recovery. This means that for the coming quarter, the PCI is expecting GDP growth close to historically normal levels of around 3% and normal increases in payroll jobs at approximately 150,000 per month.  The unemployment rate is likely to hold stubbornly to its current level but could be driven down by discouraged workers dropping out of the labor force.”

The report is pegging first quarter GDP growth at 3 percent, putting it on the low range of expectations, according to Leamer.

While March’s performance essentially nullified the losses incurred during January and February, gas prices continue to steadily increase.

“These numbers reflect solid and continued economic growth in the U.S.,” said Todd Dooley, Ceridian senior vice president of finance. “This has been occurring for a year now and bodes generally well. But we are still not seeing the employment gains required—in certain sectors like housing and construction—to put people back to work.”

With the economy growing at a 3 percent GDP clip, which Dooley described as normal, he said this number matches up well with what is being forecasted for industrial production, too.

But with fuel prices steadily rising, consumers in the short-term will likely have less disposable income and buy fewer consumer-related merchandise items like clothing and groceries, which Dooley said is likely to shift consumer-buying patterns.

“This will take a while to factor into manufacturing cycles and how companies respond,” said Dooley. “The concern is if it is a long-term secular trend and consumer spending patterns really do tighten up, there will then be overcapacity for businesses which could put pressure on inventory levels and overall growth.”

For related articles, please click here.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in March was up 1.1 percent on the heels of a revised 2.8 percent (from 3.1 percent) February decline, with the SA index at 133.5 (2000=100). This is off 0.3 percent from the all-time high for the SA of 135.8 from January 2015 and is up 5 percent annually.

Intermodal volume was up 8.1 percent annually at 280,016 containers and trailers. This outpaced the week ending April 11 at 270,463 and the week ending April 4 at 271,127. AAR said this tally marks the second highest weekly output it has ever recorded as well as the first time container and trailer traffic was higher than carloads for a one-week period.

Ocean cargo carrier service reliability across the three core East-West trades hit a five-month peak in March with an aggregate on-time performance of 64 percent, according to Carrier Performance Insight, the online schedule reliability tool provided by Drewry Supply Chain Advisors.

The Airforwarders Association, which represents more than 360 companies that move air cargo through the supply chain, today applauded an agreement reached by Congressional leaders to advance legislation giving the President authority to conclude key global trade agreements.

Despite great opportunity for growth, the logistics market in Latin America is lagging behind other emerging markets thanks in part to its notoriety for corruption, violence, poor infrastructure and government bureaucracy.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA