US Rail Traffic Is Still Expanding

railroads

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The AAR reported a 3.6% increase in intermodal traffic this week and a -2.1% decline in carloads.  This data has been remarkably consistent in recent weeks though it’s off slightly in the last few months.  The 10 week moving average has dipped just slightly to 5% from 5.1% last week.  Intermodal has been a very good leading indicator of economicgrowth and continues to point to an economy that is modestly expanding.  The AAR has more details:

“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported mixed weekly rail traffic for the week ending August 18, 2012, with U.S. railroads originating 293,916 carloads, down 2.1 per cent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 247,224 trailers and containers, up 3.6 per cent compared with the same week last year.

10 of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, with petroleum products, up 45.6 per cent; farm products excluding grain, up 37.4 per cent, and lumber and wood products, up 16.4 per cent. The groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic included metallic ores, down 29 per cent, and waste and nonferrous scrap, down 25.6 per cent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 5 per cent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was down 0.1 per cent compared with the same week in 2011.

For the first 33 weeks of 2012, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 9,299,868 carloads, down 2.4 per cent from the same point last year, and 7,729,316 trailers and containers, up 3.6 per cent from last year.” 

Weekly Rail Traffic

Photo: Pragmatic Capitalism

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