Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index is up in March

The PCI was up 0.3 percent in March, following February’s 0.7 percent gain. This cumulative 1.0 percent increase does not offset January’s 1.7 percent decline to start the year.

By ·

The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index (PCI) saw an increase for the fifth time in the last six months in March.

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 was up 0.3 percent in March, following February’s 0.7 percent gain. This cumulative 1.0 percent increase does not offset January’s 1.7 percent decline to start the year. Compared to March 2011, the PCI was down 2.2 percent. The PCI has been up in seven of the last 13 months, with the three-month adjusted index annualized growth rate period from January through March down 4.9 percent compared to the same rate for the preceding three-month period from October through December.

“Trucking is not in a recovery mode at least according to our index,” said Ed Leamer, chief economist for the Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index and Director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast. “We can look forward to a better year ahead if the recovery starts kicking in. But if it doesn’t, things will slow substantially. The index is indicating that the optimism placed on the trucking industry by the equities market is maybe a little bit ahead of the situation.”

And with trucking perhaps not in as much of a recovery mode as anecdotal reports suggest, Leamer said that to a large degree the trucking link of the supply chain has been somewhat inactive—or flat—for about a year.

What’s more, he explained that there needs to be more trucking activity, with a decent possibility it could be around the corner—and that could largely be driven by manufacturing activity.

“Manufacturing can definitely serve as a catalyst,” explained Leamer. “Trucking is all about the goods component of the economy, not the services side. A rebound in financial services or a different services sector has very little to do with trucking, which obviously is more directly related to manufacturing and retail activity.”

Another factor impacting trucking activity and the PCI is industrial production output, which matches up closely with the PCI and had shown growth for much of the last year until the past three months when it became flat.


About the Author

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. Contact Jeff Berman

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!

Latest Whitepaper
Making E-Commerce Logistics Work
Special Digital Issue: Eight feature stories that neatly encapsulate the new technology and processes that are revolutionizing logistics and supply chain operations.
Download Today!
From the February 2017 Issue
As the new administration sends waves of uncertainly through the global trade community, this could be the best time ever for shippers to build an investment case for GTM. Here are five trends you need to watch if you’re about to put these savvy systems to work
Carrier Consolidation Keeps Shippers Guessing
Getting Value from the Cloud
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Advance your career with the fastest growing logistics certification – APICS CLTD
During this webcast presenters will give an overview of APICS and the new Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD) designation. Learn how the CLTD program can help you stay on top of current trends and advance your career.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
ASEAN Logistics: Building Collectively
While most of the world withdraws inward, Southeast Asia is practicing effective cooperation between...
2017 Rate Outlook: Will the pieces fall into place?
Trade and transport analysts see a turnaround in last year’s negative market outlook, but as...

Logistics Management’s Top Logistics News Stories 2016
From mergers and acquisitions to regulation changes, Logistics Management has compiled the most...
Making the TMS Decision: Ariens Finds Just the Right Fit
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL)...