Ceridian’s Pulse of Commerce Index is still showing weakness, however, not signs of a double dip (via Ceridian):
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., September 14, 2010 – The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index™ (PCI) by UCLA Anderson School of Management fell 1 percent in August, a disappointing number that closes out an erratic summer in the PCI. The decline indicates an economy that is struggling to move forward, following July’s increase of 1.7 percent and June’s drop of 1.9 percent.
While the boost in the July PCI showed a U.S. economy in slow recovery, index experts warned last month that August and September must deliver exceptional results to support a strong, third quarter GDP number. The August figure falls short of meeting that requirement.
“The August data is obviously discouraging after the cautious optimism created from July’s report,” said Ed Leamer, chief PCI economist. “There is not much to feel good about with the August data in terms of the unemployment picture, but there is a silver lining in that the August PCI is still far from double-dip territory.”
The August PCI is consistent with a predicted third quarter GDP growth number in the range of 1.5 to 2.5 percent, which is the current consensus view of the economy. The low GDP percentage range is significantly under the 5 to 6 percent rate required to put people back to work.