If rail traffic is any indicator it’s clear that the US economy is slowing although not collapsing. This week’s rail traffic data from AAR showed a slight decline in total carloads and a single digit increase in intermodal traffic. The AAR details the results:
“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported mixed weekly rail traffic, with U.S. railroads originating 284,562 carloads for the week ending June 25, 2011, down 0.2 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 234,775 trailers and containers, up 3.3 percent compared with the same week last year.
Twelve of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases from the comparable week in 2010. Commodity groups posting solid increases included: grain, up 14.4 percent, and coke, up 10.6 percent. Groups posting a notable decrease included: farm products excluding grain, down 19.5 percent, and waste and nonferrous scrap, down 14.7 percent.
Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 3.2 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was up 1.9 percent compared with the same week in 2010.
For the first 25 weeks of 2011, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 7,253,284 carloads, up 2.8 percent from last year, and 5,619,145 trailers and containers, up 8 percent from the same point in 2010.”
Chart provided by pragcap.com
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.