Another ding against the v-shaped recovery crowd as intermodal rail traffic comes in 16.6% lower than last year. Rail data down, retail sales down, jobless claims up = stock market down UP. That makes sense. The AAR reports:
WASHINGTON, Aug. 13, 2009 — The Association of American Railroads today reported that rail traffic continues to reflect the down economy. For the week ended Aug. 8, 2009, U.S. railroads reported originating 274,633 cars, down 16 percent compared with the same week in 2008. Regionally, carloadings were down 14.1 percent in the West and 18.8 percent in the East. Intermodal volume of 195,014 trailers or containers on U.S. railroads was down 16.6 percent from the same week last year. Container volume fell 10.8 percent and trailer volume dropped 38.1 percent. Total volume on U.S. railroads for the week ending August 8 was estimated at 29.3 billion ton-miles, off 14.8 percent from the same week last year.
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All 19 carload freight commodity groups were down from last year, with declines ranging from 6.1 percent for chemicals to 48.3 percent for metals and metal products. For the first 31 weeks of 2009, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 8,159,672 carloads, down 18.9 percent from 2008; 5,764,816 trailers or containers, down 17.1 percent, and total volume of an estimated 868.3 billion ton-miles, down 18 percent.