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
Improving Packaging: The Cost of Shipping Air is Going Up
Retailers and manufacturers that insist on using inefficient and sloppy packaging methods—oversized boxes, inefficient packaging, poorly constructed palletized contents—are paying for their mistakes in sharply higher freight rates. Pitt Ohio White Paper, Logistics White Paper, Dimensional Packaging
Download Today!
From the July 2016 Issue
While it’s currently a shippers market, the authors of this year’s report contend that we’ve entered a “period of transition” that will usher in a realignment of capacity, lower inventories, economic growth and “moderately higher” rates. It’s time to tighten the ties that bind.
2016 State of Logistics: Third-party logistics
2016 State of Logistics: Ocean freight
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Getting the most out of your 3PL relationship
Join Evan Armstrong, president of Armstrong & Associates, as he explains how creating a balanced portfolio of "Top 50" global and domestic partners can maximize efficiency and mitigate risk.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Regional ports concentrate on growth and connectivity
With the Panama Canal expansion complete, ocean cargo gateways in the Caribbean are investing to...
Digital Reality Check
Just how close are we to the ideal digital supply network? Not as close as we might like to think....

Top 25 ports: West Coast continues to dominate
The Panama Canal expansion is set for late June and may soon be attracting more inbound vessel calls...
Port of Oakland launches smart phone apps for harbor truckers
Innovation uses Bluetooth, GPS to measure how long drivers wait for cargo