Thursday, January 19, 2012

Is the U.S. Heading into Solid Recovery?

As a de-facto pessimist I'm slow to believe things are good. But as a small investor I also don't want to miss any macro shifts. Inflation numbers and other government numbers can be questionable, other raw measures that reflect activities tend to be more reliable.

Hiring Outlook for 2012 Remains Cautiously Optimistic, CareerBuilder's Annual Job Forecast Finds
Full-time, Permanent Hiring
Twenty-three percent of employers surveyed plan to hire full-time, permanent employees in 2012, relatively unchanged from 24 percent for 2011 and up from 20 percent for 2010. Seven percent expect to decrease headcount, the same as for 2011 and an improvement from 9 percent for 2010. Fifty-nine percent anticipate no change in their staff levels while 11 percent are unsure.
Small Business Hiring
Small businesses are reporting more confidence in both hiring and retaining headcount in 2012. Plans to downsize dropped two percentage points across small business segments while plans to hire increased two percentage points among companies with 50 or fewer employees.
Another set of economic measures is the trucking and rail indexes based on freight rates and fuel usage.
The next BTS Transportation Services Index will be released in February, covering December. It measures freight over road, port, air, ship, everything, basically.

Then there is the Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index
What is the Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index®?
In conjunction with economists at UCLA Anderson School of Management and Charles River Associates, Ceridian has launched the groundbreaking Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index® by UCLA Anderson School of Management, which is a first of its kind indicator of the state and possible future direction of the U.S. economy. The index is issued monthly, is based on real-time fuel consumption data for over the road trucking, and closely tracks to the Federal Reserve’s Industrial Production Index. By tracking the volume and location of diesel fuel being purchased, the index closely monitors the over the road movement of raw materials, goods-in-process and finished goods to U.S. factories, retailers and consumers.
Pulse of Commerce Index Measures Trucking Fuel Consumption

A contrarian investor would possibly say that general attitude is far more negative right now than the underlying numbers justify. By not jumping back full tilt in a V shaped recovery, I think we may have gained stability to the recovery. At least, I hope, and I'm a pessimist, so that's pretty painful that hoping thing.

Ad below

Need USDOT truck decals? click on through to Fast, friendly, personal service. Call today or order online.

No comments: