The 0.2% dip in the Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index (PCI) during July after a 1% gain in June indicates that “wobbly, slow growth” should be expected for the U.S. economy for the rest of 2011.
“In July, the U.S. economy remained in ‘she loves me, she loves me not’ mode,” said Ed Leamer, director of the UCLA Anderson School of Management’s forecast team, which crafts the PCI in concert with economists at Charles River Associates based on highway diesel fuel purchasing data compiled by Ceridian Corp.
“July’s result falls in the ‘she loves me not’ category and represents a continuation of the idling economic conditions that have persisted for over a year,” Leamer noted in a statement. “Over this time period, bad news has been alternating with good, leaving investors and forecasters nervous and unable to identify sustainable trends.”
He stressed, however, that a “double-dip” recession still appears unlikely, as the traditional sources of recessions – the home and automobile markets – are not currently positioned to produce a downturn.