Pragmatic Capitalism

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No signs of economic slow-down in this week’s rail data.  Consistent with recent readings, rail traffic remained strong this week with carloads posting gains of 6.2% and intermodal traffic reporting 16.8% gains.  The 10 week average ticked up to 6.5% for intermodal traffic while the first five weeks of the year logged a 4.5% gain versus last year.  AAR has the details:

“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported an increase in weekly rail traffic for the week ending February 4, 2012, with U.S. railroads originating 284,546 carloads, up 6.2 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 232,590 trailers and containers, up 16.8 percent compared with the same week last year. Note that the comparison week five in 2011 was affected by significant winter weather events.

Sixteen of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, with metallic ores, up 63.2 percent; motor vehicles and equipment, up 42 percent, and petroleum products, up 40.5. The group showing a significant decrease in weekly traffic included grain, down 9.7 percent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 3.1 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was up 8.3 percent compared with the same week in 2011.

For the first five weeks of 2012, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,429,346 carloads, up 1.3 percent from last year, and 1,110,227 trailers and containers, up 4.5 percent from last year.”

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