The latest release of the Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index™ (PCI) suggests that the economic activity slowed slightly in April with the seasonally adjusted index declining 0.32% as compared to March but remaining 6.54% above the level seen in April 2009.
Further, the three month moving average registered another significant year-over-year increase indicating that the April Industrial Production data (released on Friday) will likely show a similar annual gain.
As cited in the release, the PCI is closely correlated to the industrial production series but given the broad nature of the series it’s not surprising to see that it correlates well with other macro data.
Looking at the chart below (click for full-screen dynamic version) you can see that while a pretty reasonable correlation exists between the PCI and the S&P/Case-Shiller Composite-10 Home Price Index (CSI), the CSI reached its peak roughly a year before the PCI.
Could the latest easing of home prices foretell a general slowing trend in the economy or is the Ceridian index forecasting increasing home prices?
We will have to wait some months to find out which trend is leading.