Rail traffic, like the rest of the US economy, appears to be off to a positive, but sluggish start. The latest weekly reading for intermodal traffic came in at 6.4% which was up from -5.4% in the previous week. The data has been volatile lately, but the 12 week moving average has been pretty steady in the low single digits. This week’s data brought the 12 week average to 3.4%. Growing, but not exactly robust.
Here’s more detail via AAR:
“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported increased U.S. rail traffic for the week ending Feb. 22, 2014 with 281,678 total U.S. carloads, up 1.3 percent compared with the same week last year. Total U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 253,358 units, up 6.4 percent compared with the same week last year. Total combined U.S. weekly rail traffic was 535,036 carloads and intermodal units, up 3.7 percent compared with the same week last year.Six of the 10 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2013, including grain with 22,076 carloads, up 29.7 percent. Commodities showing a decrease compared with the same week last year included coal with 109,295 carloads, down 3.9 percent.For the first eight weeks of 2014, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 2,158,748 carloads, down 0.5 percent from the same point last year, and 1,919,382 intermodal units, up 0.9 percent from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first eight weeks of 2014 was 4,078,130 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.1 percent from last year.”