No real changes in rail traffic trends this week. Intermodal came in at 5.2% year over year and carloads were slightly negative. The 10 week moving average was flat at about 5%. All in all, I think the data is still consistent with a muddle through economy, but not one that is contracting. More view the AAR:
“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported mixed weekly rail traffic for the week ending August 25, 2012, with U.S. railroads originating 297,042 carloads, down 0.8 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 248,364 trailers and containers, up 5.2 percent compared with the same week last year.
Ten of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, with petroleum products, up 55.7 percent; farm products excluding grain, up 26.5 percent, and lumber and wood products, up 20.8 percent. The groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic included metallic ores, down 17.5 percent, and waste and nonferrous scrap, down 14.5 percent.
Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 3.5 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was up 0.9 percent compared with the same week in 2011.
For the first 34 weeks of 2012, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 9,597,499 carloads, down 2.4 percent from the same point last year, and 7,977,680 trailers and containers, up 3.6 percent from last year.”