The AAR is reporting an 18.4% year over year decline in intermodal rail traffic. This was roughly in-line with last week’s reading and marginally higher than last months data. This data continues to rhyme with the continuing weakness we’ve been seeing in consumer data and flies in the face of the optimistic stock market price action. The v-shaped recovery that is being priced into stocks does not appear to be occurring in the real economy. The AAR reports:
WASHINGTON, D.C., Aug. 20, 2009 — The Association of American Railroads today reported that rail carloadings are registering incremental gains, but traffic remains down year over year for the week ended Aug. 15, 2009. U.S railroads reported originating 276,488 cars, down 17.1 percent compared with the same week in 2008. Regionally, carloadings were down 16.6 percent in the West and 17.8 percent in the East.
Intermodal volume of 193,488 trailers or containers was down 18.4 percent from the same week last year. Container volume fell 13.1 percent and trailer volume dropped 38.6 percent. Total volume on U.S. railroads for the week ending August 15 was estimated at 29.5 billion ton-miles, off 16.7 percent from the same week last year.
All 19 carload freight commodity groups were down from last year, with declines ranging from 0.9 percent for farm products not including grain to 51 percent for metals and metal products.
For the first 32 weeks of 2009, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 8,436,160 carloads, down 18.9 percent from 2008; 5,958,304 trailers or containers, down 17.2 percent, and total volume of an estimated 897.8 billion ton-miles, down 18 percent.
Mr. Roche is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Discipline Funds.Discipline Funds is a low fee financial advisory firm with a focus on helping people be more disciplined with their finances.
He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance, Understanding the Modern Monetary System and Understanding Modern Portfolio Construction.