RAIL INDICATORS: The Economy Continues To Soften

More weakness in this week’s rail traffic report.  The AAR reported a -0.3% reading in intermodal.  This is the second consecutive negative weekly reading.  This brings the 12 week moving average down to 1.3%.  That’s about in-line with the consensus Q4 GDP predictions and indicative of an economy that is growing, but just slightly.

Here’s more via AAR:

“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported declines in weekly rail traffic for the week ending December 8, 2012, with U.S. railroads originating 292,206 carloads, down 1.6 per cent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 240,098 trailers and containers, down 0.3 per cent compared with the same week last year.

Twelve of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, with petroleum products, up 59.5 per cent; lumber wood and products, up 18.6 per cent, and metallic ores, up 16.6 per cent. The groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic included grain, down 15.3 per cent; metals and products, down 11.9 per cent, and coal, down 9.7 per cent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 0.5 per cent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was down 2.4 per cent compared with the same week in 2011.

For the first 49 weeks of 2012, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 13,888,035 carloads, down 3.0 per cent from the same point last year, and 11,619,432 trailers and containers, up 3.2 per cent from last year.”

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(Chart via Orcam Investment Research)

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