The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index – a real-time measure of the flow of goods to U.S. factories, retailers and consumers – fell 1.5 percent during February.
Coupled with the 0.3 percent loss from January, this latest data eliminates the strong 1.8 percent gain in December. However, February marked the 15th straight month of year-over-year growth, indicating that economic recovery, while fragile, remains under way.
“The PCI performance in the first two months of this year suggests weakness in some parts of the economy,” said Ed Leamer, chief PCI economist and director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast. “Nevertheless, our outlook for 2011 is for continued economic recovery – we expect GDP to grow at the historically ‘normal’ rate of 3 percent, accompanied by a persistent level of high unemployment.”
The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index is based on real-time diesel fuel consumption data for over-the-road trucking and serves as an indicator of the U.S. economy.