Rail Traffic Continues to Point to Economic Growth

The beginning of the year is notoriously volatile in rail data, but a trend is developing and it’s a positive one. This week’s rail data points to another solid week of data with 7.2% gains in year over year intermodal traffic. This brings the 3 month moving average to 4.12%.

AAR has more details:

“AAR today also reported mixed rail traffic for the week ending Feb.2, 2013.  Last week U.S. railroads originated 274,700 carloads, down 3.4 percent compared with the same week last year, while intermodal volume for the week totaled 249,231 trailers and containers, up 7.2 percent compared with the same week last year.

Eight of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, with petroleum products, up 52.3 percent; lumber and wood products, up 26.5 percent, and farm products excluding grain, up 18.7 percent. The groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic included metallic ores, down 22.4 percent; grain, down 15.7 percent, and nonmetallic minerals, down 12.1 percent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 4.7 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was down 2.6 percent compared with the same week in 2012.

For the first five weeks of 2013, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,339,604 carloads, down 6.3 percent from the same point last year, and 1,168,630 trailers and containers, up 5.3 percent from last year.”

Chart via Orcam Investment Research:

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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.

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