Pragmatic Capitalism

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The AAR reported another small gain in total rail traffic this week.  The slow-down in rail has been consistent with an overall slowing in the economy.  Total carloads were up just marginally on a year over year basis while intermodal traffic continues to post mid-single digit results.  The AAR reports:

“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported incremental gains in weekly rail traffic, with U.S. railroads originating 290,181 carloads for the week ending June 11, 2011, up 0.3 percent compared with the same week last year.  Intermodal volume for the week totaled 237,422 trailers and containers, up 6.4 percent compared with the same week in 2010.

Eleven of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases from the comparable week in 2010. Commodity groups posting solid increases included: metallic ores, up 33.8 percent; lumber and wood products, up 17.8 percent, and pulp, paper and allied products, up 12.2 percent. Groups posting a notable decrease included: primary forest products, down 14.3 percent, and waste and nonferrous scrap, down 13.7 percent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 0.3 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was up 0.7 percent compared with the same week in 2010.

For the first 23 weeks of 2011, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 6,674,412 carloads, up 2.9 percent from last year, and 5,146,688 trailers and containers, up 8.4 percent from the same point in 2010.”

(chart provided by

Cullen Roche

Cullen Roche

Mr. Roche is the Founder of Orcam Financial Group, LLC.Orcam is a financial services firm offering asset management, private advisory, institutional consulting and educational services.He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance and Understanding the Modern Monetary System.
Cullen Roche

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