The AAR’s latest Rail-Time Indicators report is out, and in three charts you can basically get the whole story of the economy right now.
First, total rail volumes. January is right in between the ugly years of 2009/2010 and the good years (2006/2008)
Now, look at lumber, which obviously is connected to housing. It’s as ugly as ever.
And now look at grains, and the red-hot agricultural commodity sector. This was almost the best month ever.
And that’s basically it. Grains up, houses down, and everyone else in the middle.