Yesterday we looked at the data for imports in our nation's busiest ports - today we have some data on trucking fuel purchases. In a way, I'd find the fuel purchasing data more damning as trucks are moving product for both import and export. So it's one thing to say the U.S. economy is relatively comatose (imports) but we'd at least like to see exports doing well. According to the data, this last quarter saw the steepest drop off in fuel purchases of any non recessionary quarter during the past decade.
- U.S. truckers’ fuel purchases dropped the most in the three months through September of any quarter in the past 10 years, excluding recessions, as deliveries slowed to retailers, factories and consumers.
- The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index, which measures the volume of driver purchases at fueling stations nationwide, dropped at an annualized rate of 4.3 percent in the three months through Sept. 30. The breadth of truckers’ deliveries makes their fuel purchases an indicator of economic health.
- “Since June, trucking activity has been receding at a pace that would be expected to show up in other economic measures soon,” Ed Leamer, the index’s chief economist, said in a report. “Two or three more months like this would confirm an official recession.”
- The Ceridian index may be a better gauge of future economic growth than some government data because it won’t be restated, Leamer has said. (lol - that's an understatement... it also won't be 'adjusted' over the years by political pressure as almost every other government report has been) The index’s decline suggests a third-quarter growth rate of zero for U.S. gross domestic product, he said. (don't worry - official statistics will show something far in excess of zero)
As an aside, while equity markets have been snorting the cocaine of intervention the past 6 days - please note, after a dead cat bounce, copper has done nothing the past 3 sessions.