Although the economy is not improving by leaps and bounds, an article in Business Week indicates there are some signs of recovery. Here’s a few metrics the article highlights.

PCI Index (Pulse of Commerce Index) The index measures the diesel fuel consumption data from over the road trucking. “The index climbed 3.1 percent in May from April, the largest monthly increase since February 1999.” This shows a sign of industry production as manufacturers stock their inventories.

ISM’s Non-Manufacturing Index According to the article the index has been rising fairly steadily since January while prices and new orders for nonmanufacturing were down in May from April, according to ISM. Also noted are the train shipments of waste and scrap materials that have been increasing at the fastest pace in 16 years.

Tech Pulse Index The index covers industrial production, shipments, employment, and household purchases of computers and software. May’s growth rate is at 25.8% which is down from April but above the yearly average of 25.2.

MasterCard Advisors Spending Pulse This is an indicator that reports on consumer spending in a variety of categories across the US. Although retail apparel is currently down, some categories show improvement like luxury and jewelry sales.

State and Municipal Spending It seems like most states and municipalities are in some form of economic crisis today. The article indicates the amount of unemployment taxes that are being paid by businesses to cover state and local governments is another indicator of how much money is not there. It also has an effect on hiring. Large companies may have the means to cover these costs while smaller businesses may be out of luck.

Everyday we hear from economists who let us know if things are getting better, and we watch indicators to monitor where the economy is headed. One thing the author makes clear and that I agree with is that nothing is clear cut. There are ups and downs everyday and we need to hang in there for the ride.
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Lindsey Fandozzi

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  1. Very interesting article. I am looking into spend analysis for my own company and this provides a nice and easy way of understanding it.