Rail traffic continues to point to economic expansion as intermodal traffic came in at 6.5% for the week. This brings the 10 week moving average to 5.2% which is solidly positive and consistent with economic expansion. The AAR has more details on this week’s reading:
“AAR today also announced mixed weekly rail traffic for the week ending September 1, 2012, with U.S. railroads originating 292,732 carloads, down 3.4 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 249,113 trailers and containers, up 6.5 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 44.1 percent; farm products excluding grain, up 22 percent, and lumber and wood products, up 20.7 percent. The groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic included metallic ores, down 17.2 percent, and waste and nonferrous scrap, down 16.6 percent.
Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 7.1 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was down 1.1 percent compared with the same week in 2011.
For the first 35 weeks of 2012, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 9,890,231 carloads, down 2.4 percent from the same point last year, and 8,226,793 trailers and containers, up 3.7 percent from last year.”