More of the same trends here in the weekly readings from rail traffic and initial jobless claims, two of the better real-time indicators for broad economic activity.
Intermodal rail traffic was up 9.1% on the week bringing the 12 week moving average to a fresh three year high of 9.4%. We’ve seen a substantial pick-up from the February lows of 1.73% when the very cold winter was clearly hurting Q1 economic data.
Initial jobless claims climbed slightly on the week to 312K, but the four week moving average continued to decline to a fresh recovery low of 310.25K. The job market might not be getting substantially better, but based on this data it’s certainly not getting any worse.