No dip in rail data this week. The strength in the ISM data yesterday appears to rhyme with the consistently strong readings in rail data (via AAR):
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported weekly rail traffic continues to set records with U.S. railroads posting their highest numbers for 2010 in both rail carloads and intermodal volume for the week ending Aug. 28, 2010. U.S. railroads originating 302,358 carloads for the week, up 5.8 percent compared with the same week in 2009, but down 11.3 percent from the same week in 2008. Intermodal traffic totaled 237,194 trailers and containers, up 17.1 percent from the same week in 2009, but down 1.2 percent compared with 2008. In order to offer a complete picture of the progress in rail traffic, AAR reports 2010 weekly rail traffic with comparison weeks in both 2009 and 2008.Compared with the same week in 2009, container volume, a subset of intermodal, increased 18.1 percent and trailer volume rose 11.4 percent. Compared with the same week in 2008, container volume increased 7 percent and trailer volume dropped 31.7 percent.
Fifteen of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009 with significant increases in metallic ores, up 62.2 percent; metals and metal products, up 40.2 percent; and farm product excluding grain, up 33.4 percent. In comparison to 2008, only one carload commodity group, farm products excluding grain, posted an increase.
Carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 4.7 percent from the same week last year, but down 12.5 percent from 2008. In the West, carload volume was up 6.6 percent from the same week last year but down 10.5 percent from two years ago.
For the first 34 weeks of 2010, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 9,640,718 carloads, up 7.1 percent from 2009, but down 12.9 percent from 2008, and 7,257,418 trailers or containers, up 14.3 percent from 2009, but down 5.3 percent from 2008.
Mr. Roche is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Discipline Funds.Discipline Funds is a low fee financial advisory firm with a focus on helping people be more disciplined with their finances.
He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance, Understanding the Modern Monetary System and Understanding Modern Portfolio Construction.