Pulse of Commerce Index is down 1.0 percent in August

Following a nearly 2 percent gain in July, the results from the most recent Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index (PCI) took a slight dip in August

By ·

Following a nearly 2 percent gain in July, the results from the most recent Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index (PCI) took a slight dip in August, falling 1.0 percent.

July’s PCI was up 1.7 percent, following a 1.9 percent decline in June and a 3.1 percent increase in May. 

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 closely tracks the Federal Reserve’s Industrial Production data as well as GDP growth.

“The August data is obviously discouraging after the cautious optimism created from July’s report,” said Ed Leamer, chief PCI economist, in a statement. “There is not much to feel good about with the August data in terms of the unemployment picture, but there is a silver lining in that the August PCI is still far from double-dip territory.”

The August PCI, according to the report’s authors, was up 6 percent year-over-year and has been up for 9 straight months on a year-over-year basis although annual gains have been on the decline since June. In order to reflect a “healthy job market,” the PCI needs to show a 10-to-15 percent annual growth rate, the report noted.

The report also pointed out that the August PCI is consistent with a predicted third quarter GDP growth number in the 1.5-2.5 percent range, with a GDP growth rate of 5-to-6 percent needed to sustain meaningful job creation.

The report’s authors also noted that this slow annual growth indicates that inventory restocking and strong import growth may be over, but added that manufacturing remains strong and it is still to early to determine what this means for the trucking market.

“These results could be viewed as an unimpressive economic recovery, which has been occurring for most of the year from a PCI standpoint,” said Todd Dooley, senior vice president of finance for Ceridian, in an interview. “As things stand, growth is not sufficient enough to put many people back to work.

And with the recovery largely being a jobless one to a large degree, overall economic growth can be viewed as stagnant at the present time and for the near-term, according to Dooley.


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
The View from the New “Single Window”
The single window, officially known as the "International Trade Data System," operates via the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency's Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) platform, and serves as a single point of contact for all trade filings.
Download Today!
From the March 2017 Issue
WMS vendors are stepping up to the plate and developing functionalities and solutions that meet the complex needs of today’s companies. Our top analysts take a peek into these developments and discuss the DC of the future and the software that will support it.
5 Supply Chain Trends Happening Now
2017 Warehouse/DC Equipment Survey: Investment up as service pressures rise
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2017 Trucking Regulations & Infrastructure Update
In this session our panel brings shippers up to date on the state of transportation regulations. Discussion will revolve around regulatory reform, aspects of the federal highway bill and what the transportation landscape looks like in the early days of the Trump administration.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...
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...