Rail Traffic Continues to Muddle Through

More of the same from the latest rail traffic report.  Intermodal traffic came in at a 2.7% year over year pace.  This is slightly better than recent readings and brings the 12 week moving average to 1.8%, which is up slightly versus last week’s 1.7%.

In my opinion, this is all consistent with a weak, but marginally expansionary economy.  The AAR has more details on this week’s data (via AAR):

“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ending June 22, 2013, with carloads essentially flat at 288,224, and intermodal traffic totaling 252,807 units, up 2.7 percent compared with the same week last year.  Total combined U.S. traffic for the week was up 1.2 percent with 541,031 carloads and intermodal units, compared with the same week last year.

Four of the 10 carload commodity groups tracked by AAR on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, led by petroleum and petroleum products, up 37.2 percent. Commodities showing a decrease compared with the same week last year included grain, down 23.3 percent.

For the first 25 weeks of 2013, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 6,936,532 carloads, down 1.6 percent from the same point last year, and 6,020,765 intermodal units, up 3.9 percent from last year. Total U.S. traffic for the first 25 weeks of 2013 was 12,957,297 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.9 percent from last year.”

Chart via Orcam Investment Research:

rails

Cullen Roche

Cullen Roche

Mr. Roche is the Founder of Orcam Financial Group, LLC. Orcam is a financial services firm offering research, private advisory, institutional consulting and educational services. He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance and Understanding the Modern Monetary System.

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Comments

  1. Mr. Roche – I am not sure if rail traffic has significant macro relevance in the information age.