U.S. Economy

Want to Know How the Recovery's Going? Ask the Pump

Ceridian-UCLA's Pulse of Commerce Index is a novel way of measuring economic activity: Every time a long-haul trucker gases up and pays with one of Ceridian's widely used fuel cards, the location and purchase amount are logged. The data power real-time shipping indexes that show steady yet sluggish growth since the June 2009 low.

Applegate is a graphics editor for Bloomberg Businessweek in New York. Follow him on Twitter @evanapplegate.

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