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More mixed news in this week’s rail data.  The bad news is carloads are down again though up from recent reports.  The good news is intermodal continues to post positive year over year figures.  This week’s data came in at -3.6% on carloads and +6% for intermodal.  That brings the 10 week moving average for intermodal to 2%.  This is, in my opinion, consistent with a growing, but still sluggish economy.  Here’s more from the AAR:

“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported mixed weekly rail traffic for the week ending April 21, 2012, with U.S. railroads originating 282,262 carloads, down 3.6 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 239,276 trailers and containers, up 6 percent compared with the same week last year.

Fourteen of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, with petroleum products, up 48.3 percent; motor vehicles and equipment, up 32.9 percent, and primary forest products, up 22.8 percent. The groups showing a significant decrease in weekly traffic included farm products excluding grain, down 19 percent; grain, down 18 percent, and coal, down 16 percent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 2 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was down 7.3 percent compared with the same week in 2011.

For the first 16 weeks of 2012, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 4,509,115 carloads, down 3.2 percent from the same point last year, and 3,633,031 trailers and containers, up 2.6 percent from last year.”

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