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Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Indicates Negative Growth

The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index (PCI) is reporting flat overall economic performance for the first four months of this year. The PCI dropped 0.3 percent in April, signifying a stall in economic recovery. However, consumer spending grew, which could propel a modest recovery. Still, the organization says expectations for a strong recovery may be overly optimistic.

"The latest PCI numbers are disappointing and cast considerable doubt on the strength of the recovery and the strength of GDP numbers for 2010," said PCI Chief Economist Ed Leamer. "The next two months will tell if the first quarter's healthy consumer spending will help lift the PCI and propel stronger GDP growth for the year."

The PCI is based on analysis of real-time diesel fuel consumption data from over-the-road trucking. It includes data from the nine Census regions, five of which were weak in April. Trucking in the typically strong East North Central region dropped 1.7 percent. It also fell 1.1 percent in the South Atlantic region, and 0.4 percent in the East South Central region. The West South Central region had no trucking growth in April.

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