The Association of America Railroads reported mixed traffic figures for the week ending January 16th. Total carloads declined 0.8% vs 2009 and down 18.5% vs 2008. Intermodal traffic was a bit stronger with a 1.3% year over year climb, but a 12.6% decline versus 2008. Breadth in the data continues to improve over the latest week as 12 of the 19 commodity groups reported year over year improvement. For the first two weeks the total volume is down 6.7% vs 2009 and down 23.3% vs 2008. There is no denying the weakness of the real economy in this data. The sluggish recovery continues and improvement remains meager despite very easy year over year comparisons.