Real-time measure of US economy slips in April, continuing trend

03 May 2012 22:34  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--A real-time measure of US goods deliveries indicates that the national economic recovery continued to cool in April, with the pace of growth just barely above flat-line, a key survey reported on Thursday.

The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Anderson School of Management said that its pulse of commerce index (PCI) rose by a whisper-thin 0.1% in April from March to a reading of 94.19.

That narrow advance for April followed a 0.3% gain in March and the 0.7% advance in February and suggests that the pace of the US recovery is slowing.

The index, compiled by UCLA in cooperation with Ceridian, tracks credit card purchases of diesel fuel by trucking companies across the country and serves as a real-time measure of the flow of raw materials, goods-in-process and finished products.

Ceridian noted that the cumulative PCI for the three months February through April “is below the previous three months by 1.2% at an annualised rate”.

The PCI for April also is 1.9% below the index for the same month of 2011.

The decline in the PCI growth rate over the last three months comes in the wake of last week’s US Department of Commerce (DOC) report that the US economy grew at a modest 2.2% in the first quarter this year, down from the 3% expansion of gross domestic product (GDP) seen in the fourth quarter 2011.

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy

By: Joe Kamalick
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