The UCLA Ceridian Pulse of Commerce Index based on real-time truck fuel usage rose slightly in March.

The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index® (PCI®), issued today by the UCLA Anderson School of Management and Ceridian Corporation rose 0.3 percent in March following the 0.7 percent increase in February and the 1.7 percent decrease in January. The first quarter PCI is below the fourth quarter of last year by 4.9 percent at an annualized rate.

Sampling of Graphs From the Report

click on any chart for sharper image

I would like to see a comparison of the current three months vs. the same three months a year ago, excluding seasonal adjustments. Workday adjustments are reasonable but should be negligible over a three month period.

Such a comparison is how I show overall petroleum and gasoline usage. Please see Another Plunge in 3-Month Rolling Average of Petroleum and Gasoline Usage for details.

I will have an update through March out soon.


Year-Over-Year Growth of PCI

PCI Compared with Real Retail Sales

What accounts for these divergences?

  • Government spending
  • Online sales
  • Rebound in auto sales and high-end merchandise
  • Extreme weakness in housing 
  • Renewed plunge in Savings Rate

Personal Savings Rate

Encouraged by the Fed, Consumers are once again spending too much.

The picture is not sustainable. The US economy will not disconnect from the rest of the world regardless of what most mainstream media reports.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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