The evidence that we’re currently in a recession just isn’t quite there yet.This is the latest from the American Association of Railroads:
In September 2011, 13 of the 20 carload commodity categories saw increases on U.S. railroads compared with September 2010. The largest gains were: coal, up 6,356 carloads or 1.2 per cent; primary metal products, up 5,272 carloads or 14.4 per cent, and motor vehicles and parts, up 4,445 carloads or 8.2 per cent. In percentage terms, the biggest increase in U.S. carloads in September was in petroleum and petroleum products, up 16.1 per cent. Compared with September 2010, grain carloads in September 2011 were down 16,849 carloads or 18.2 per cent, continuing a three month-long slide.
“Carloads have been closely tracking last year’s levels for six months, and intermodal continues to grow, though more moderately than earlier this year,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. grey. “Rail traffic is consistent with an economy that is probably still growing, but far more slowly than any of us would want.”
THis is consistent, also, with what the CEO of FedEx (which has a similar look on the economy) said: Growth isn’t great, but it’s not a recession.
Oh, and Warren Buffett said the same thing recently.