Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pulse of Commerce Index shows modest improvement

According to the folks at UCLA who publish the Pulse of Commerce Index, it "has now declined in four of the first five months of 2011, and in eight of the past twelve months." That sounds pretty gloomy, but when you look at the 3-mo. moving average of the index (blue line in above chart), there has been steady improvement over the past six months. The source of differing interpretations of this data is the relatively high level of volatility in the index over the past year, so this may be one of those situations where a moving average makes a lot of sense. To be sure, the growth rate of the moving average has slowed over the past year, but we already knew that the economy has slowed, so there's really nothing new here.

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