Good sign here for economic growth as rail traffic appears to have stabilized a bit. July was a record month for carloads and the weekly report showed a nice jump up 4.8% year over year. That brought the 12 week average up to 2.5% which is off the lows of 1.6% from early June. It looks like we hit a brief dip in growth in the preceding 12 weeks and things might be starting to pick up again.
Here’s more from the AAR:
“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported that total U.S. rail traffic was mixed for July 2013, with intermodal setting a new July record for average weekly volume and carload volume decreasing slightly overall compared with July 2012.
Intermodal traffic in July totaled 1,218,625 containers and trailers, up 2.5 percent (29,328 units) compared with July 2012. The weekly average of 243,725 units in July 2013 was the highest for any July in history. Carloads originated in July totaled 1,384,742, down 0.5 percent (7,532 carloads) compared with the same month last year.
AAR today also reported mixed rail traffic for the week ending August 3, 2013. U.S. railroads originated 287,372 carloads last week, down 0.4 percent compared with the same week last year, while intermodal volume for the week totaled 255,024 units, up 4.8 percent compared with the same week last year. Total U.S. rail traffic for the week ending August 3 was 542,396 carloads and intermodal units, up 2.0 percent compared with the same week last year.”
Chart via Orcam Research: