Thursday, September 02, 2010

Rail Traffic At Highest Level Since 2008

WASHINGTON , D.C. – Sept. 2, 2010 – "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. U.S. railroads originated 302,358 carloads for the week, up 5.8 percent compared with the same week in 2009 and intermodal traffic totaled 237,194 trailers and containers, up 17.1 percent from the same week in 2009 (see charts above).  Compared with the same week in 2009, container volume, a subset of intermodal, increased 18.1 percent and trailer volume rose 11.4 percent."  Other highlights include:

1. This is the 33rd consecutive week in 2010 that intermodal volume is above the same week in 2009, with 24 of those weeks being double-digit percentage gains. 

2. Rail carloads have increased in 26 out of the last 27 weeks versus the same week last year.

3. Fifteen of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009 with significant increases in metallic ores (62.2 percent), metals and metal products (40.2 percent) and farm product excluding grain (33.4 percent).

4. Canadian railroads reported volume of 76,064 cars for the week, up 16.5 percent from last year, and 53,747 trailers or containers, up 24.4 percent from 2009. For the first 34 weeks of 2010, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 2,458,747 carloads, up 20.6 percent from last year, and 1,585,669 trailers or containers, up 15.7 percent from last year.

5. Mexican railroads reported originated volume of 14,531 cars, up 18 percent from the same week last year, and 8,168 trailers or containers, up 26.7 percent.

MP: Warren Buffett's single most favorite economic indicator - rail freight traffic - continues to set records for both 2009 and 2010, with both rail carloads and intermodal volume now at the highest levels since 2008. Based on the steadily increasing volume of raw materials, natural resources, lumber, coal, grains, chemicals, metals, motor vehicles and paper products moving around the country by rail (and Canada and Mexico), the economic picture continues to get a little brighter almost every week.


At 9/02/2010 2:00 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

but, as we prepare to end the 5th quarter of "recovery" we are still down significantly from 2008 -

down 11.3 in carloads an 1.2% in intermodal.

average that out by number of initiations and you get about a 7.2% drop from 2008.

i'd be willing to be that this is less of a recovery over time than any other since ww2.

the economy began recovering in july last year, so these comparisons are going to begin to get really difficult in 2 more quarters. if we have not exceeded 2008 by then, that would seem to be a real issue.

At 9/02/2010 5:37 PM, Blogger James said...

A check of this web site for September 2009 contains the following:

Real Estate Recovery: Phoenix, Miami, Las Vegas

14th Straight Month of Pending Sales Increases for the Minneapolis Area Housing Market

U.S. Home Prices Increase for the Third Month in a Row For the First Time Since Spring 2006

Chicago Fed Index Increases for 7th Straight Month

Florida Real Estate Market Recovery: 12th Consecutive Monthly Increase in Home Sales

Truck Tonnage Index Rose 2.1% in August, Follows 2.1% Increase in July, Reaches Six-Month High

Consumer Confidence at Highest Level Since January 2008, Largest 6-Month Gain in 15 Years

Home Inventory Measure Falls to April 2007 Level

Jobless Claims Fall to Lowest Level in 34 Weeks

Emerging Markets Index Reaches New Yearly High

Volatility Index Falls to 1-Yr. Low, Bloomberg Financial Conditions Index Reaches New 2-Yr. High

Richmond Fed Index: It's Over

History of Leading Indicators: The Recession's Over

If the economy has been getting better for so long why is it not better than it is?

At 9/03/2010 7:51 AM, Blogger Unknown said...


I think you may have answered your own question. You've listed several soundbytes of info indicating a recovery.

Employment has always been a lagging indicator.


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