Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!

Pulse of Commerce Index is down 1.0 percent in August

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
September 15, 2010

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 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

Logistics managers have always been under pressure to strike the right distance between specialized intermediaries and the markets they want to serve. That challenge is becoming increasingly complex, however, as mega-brokerage enterprises capture more share.

There are so many ways to analyze the state of truckload capacity, and on top of that there is, perhaps, no other facet of freight transportation that is so directly impacted by myriad moving parts, whether it be driver availability, rates, demand, weather, the economy, and, of course, federal regulations, among others.

The ATA said that the annualized turnover rate for large truckload carriers, which it defines as truckload fleets with more than $30 million in revenue, increased 3 percent to an annualized rate of 87 percent in the second quarter.

If you want to meet some of the most ticked-off people on the planet, talk to any trucking industry retiree who received that letter from the Teamsters’ Central States pension plan notifying them of their potential financial haircut coming in retirement.

Global express delivery and logistics services provider DHL introduced a new flight geared towards Michigan-based importers and exporters out of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport.


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