Warren Buffett’s favorite indicator of economic growth continues to gain momentum here in the early spring. The latest year over year reading from AAR shows a 9.3% increase in rail traffic. This brings the 12 week moving averaged to 5.7%, the highest reading since January. Here’s some more detail via AAR:
“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported increased U.S. rail traffic for the week ending April 12, 2014 with 295,294 total U.S. carloads, up 7.2 percent compared with the same week last year. Total U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 264,382 units, up 9.3 percent compared with the same week last year. Total combined U.S. weekly rail traffic was 559,676 carloads and intermodal units, up 8.2 percent compared with the same week last year.
Eight of the 10 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2013, including grain with 20,760 carloads, up 21.7 percent, and coal with 115,403 carloads, up 11.2 percent. The commodities showing a decrease compared with the same week last year were metallic ores and metals with 22,409 carloads, down 3.9 percent, and forest products with 11,034 carloads, down 1.5 percent.
For the first 15 weeks of 2014, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 4,194,072 carloads, up 1.6 percent compared with the same point last year, and 3,728,465 intermodal units, up 4.8 percent from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 15 weeks of 2014 was 7,922,537 carloads and intermodal units, up 3.1 percent from last year.”