Rail Traffic Continues to Point to Economic Strength

No downturn in Warren Buffett’s favorite economic indicator….Rail traffic has now reached its highest 12 week moving average since 2011.  With a weekly intermodal reading of 10.5% year over year the 12 week moving average is now at 6.75%.   Here’s more via AAR:

 The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported that U.S. monthly rail traffic showed mixed results in February, and gains in both carloads and intermodal traffic for the week ending March 2, 2013.

Intermodal traffic in February 2013 totaled 983,078 containers and trailers, up 10.5 percent (93,231 units) compared with February 2012. That percentage increase represents the biggest year-over-year monthly gain since December 2010. The weekly average of 245,770 intermodal units in February was the highest weekly average for any February in history.

“Rail intermodal traffic continues to grow.  In February, year-over-year intermodal volume on U.S. railroads rose for the 39th straight week, and February saw the first double-digit year-over-year increase in two years,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray.  “Shippers find intermodal appealing for a lot of reasons, including fuel savings, higher trucking costs, and service that has become much better in recent years.”

For the first nine weeks of 2013, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 2,453,447 carloads, down 4 percent from the same point last year, and 2,151,708 intermodal units, up 7.6 percent from last year. Total U.S. traffic for the first nine weeks of 2013 was 4,605,155 carloads and intermodal units, up 1.1 percent from last year.

Chart via Orcam Investment Research:

 Source: AAR
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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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