US truck fuel purchase index falls in February

NEW YORK, March 10 (BestGrowthStock) – An index tracking truck stop
fuel purchases fell in February, suggesting a potential slowing
in U.S. economic activity, according to a private survey
released on Wednesday.

The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index (PCI), produced
by the UCLA Anderson School of Management, fell 0.7 percent
last month after a 0.6 percent increase in January.

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

February’s fewer workdays, as well as snowstorms that
pummeled the U.S. East Coast, contributed to a slump in the
index, said professor Edward Leamer, the study’s chief
economist.

The gauge was up 5.1 percent versus a year ago, and the
group expects a further rebound in the March reading, in part
because of the snowstorms.

But Leamer cautioned: “We need a big improvement in March
to support GDP optimism. The pulse is not suggesting it’s going
to be that high.”

The group lowered its industrial production growth
projection for February to 0.6 percent from 1.0 percent, based
on the PCI reading, which anticipates shifts in economic growth
by showing increases and decreases in shipments of raw
materials and goods domestically.

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.
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(Reporting by Camille Drummond; Editing by Dan Grebler)

US truck fuel purchase index falls in February