U.S. truck fuel purchase gauge rises in March

NEW YORK, April 13 (BestGrowthStock) – An index tracking truck stop
fuel purchases rebounded in March, suggesting stronger growth
in U.S. economic activity for the first quarter than most
forecasts, undercut by a high unemployment rate, according to a
private survey released on Tuesday.

The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index (PCI), produced
by the UCLA Anderson School of Management, rose 1.0 percent in
March after a 0.7 percent decline in February, which was
largely due to snowstorms and fewer workdays, said Professor
Edward Leamer, the study’s chief economist.

The new indicator aims to measure shifts in economic demand
by tracking fuel purchases at more than 7,000 truck stops
across the United States.

March marked the fourth straight month the index grew
year-over-year, after seeing declines for 22 consecutive
months. It is now up 7.0 percent compared to a year ago.

The gauge indicates healthy economic gains ahead, but high
unemployment remains a challenge amid recovery.

“The good news in March is that the economy is still
recovering at a pace that should support job growth, although
unfortunately not at a pace that will drive rapid improvement
in the unemployment rate,” Leamer said. “GDP needs to grow at a
5 to 6 percent rate to drive meaningful change in
unemployment.”

The data suggests a stronger first quarter GDP increase
than most forecasts, and 0.5 percent growth in the upcoming
industrial production figure, according to the study.

Using figures from Ceridian, a business services company
that processes credit card payments and has the ability to
track fuel purchases, the report has tracked the number of
gallons sold through the nation’s truck stops since 1999.

Stock Market Investing

(Reporting by Camille Drummond; editing by Carol Bishopric)

U.S. truck fuel purchase gauge rises in March