Weekly rail traffic trends showed some signs of slowing this week, but remain solid when taken in larger context. This week’s intermodal reading of 0.7% was the weakest reading since January and brought the 12 week moving average down to 5.6%. That’s down from the recent high of 6.75%. All in all, this appears consistent with an economy that is still growing.
Here’s more via AAR:
“AAR reported an increase in traffic for the week ending March 16, 2013, with total U.S. weekly carloads of 280,624 carloads, up 0.5 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 228,806 units, up 0.7 percent compared with the same week last year. Total U.S. traffic for the week was 509,430 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.6 percent compared with the same week last year.
Five of the 10 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, including petroleum products, up 58.3 percent, and motor vehicles and parts, up 15.6 percent. Commodities showing a decrease were led by grain, down 19.2 percent.
For the first eleven weeks of 2013, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 3,010,769 carloads, down 3.3 percent from the same point last year, and 2,615,688 intermodal units, up 6.6 percent from last year. Total U.S. traffic for the first eleven weeks of 2013 was 5,626,457 carloads and intermodal units, up 1.1 percent from last year.”
Chart via Orcam Research: