Thursday, October 06, 2011

Intermodal Rail Traffic Highest in Four Years

"The American Association of Railroads today reported gains in weekly rail traffic, with U.S. railroads originating 312,170 carloads for the week ending Oct. 1, 2011 (week 39), up 4.7% compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 250,864 trailers and containers, up 4.4% compared with the same week last year. This week’s U.S. carload volume is highest since Week 45 of 2008, and the intermodal volume is the highest since Week 39 of 2007."

MP: These ongoing improvements in U.S. weekly rail shipments suggest ongoing increases in economic activity.  Especially when considering that intermodal rail volume reached a four-year high last week and is back to pre-recession levels, and carload rail volume is the highest in almost three years, the case for an economic slowdown or double-dip recession seems weak and unconvincing.   


At 10/06/2011 5:09 PM, Blogger Ed R said...

So we are back to the economic activity levels of late 2007. How much population growth and productivity increases have there been in the past four years??

At 10/06/2011 6:35 PM, Blogger Bernie Ecch said...

How many of these "rail traffic is up over the last few months" posts have we seen in the last four years.? Along with the "housing prices up in Arizona, Las Vegas", "restaurant volume is up", "Baltic Dry is Up"..all these signs that supposedly portend an economic recovery that never comes. Much like the "light at the end of the tunnel" during the Vietnam war.

At 10/06/2011 7:25 PM, Blogger Craig Howard said...

These ongoing improvements in U.S. weekly rail shipments suggest ongoing increases in economic activity.

Or, they reflect the fact that consumer spending can continue to rise even after a recession has begun. After all, consumer spending neither causes nor ends recessions -- capital investment does. Add to that the oncoming Christmas shopping season and interpret the rail shipments data with care.

At 10/06/2011 8:55 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

OR, a bunch of retailers are going to be scratching "cash broke," but "inventory rich" butts.

At 10/06/2011 9:44 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...

The big question: Does the GOP want a recovery at this stage of the game?

At 10/07/2011 4:09 AM, Blogger Henry H said...

Looking deeper at the numbers. AAR traffic is being boosted by the Japanese automaker recovery. Motor vehicles and Metals are up 55-75% in the previous week vs the YTD trend.

Motor Vehicles and Equipment +12.2% YOY growth for week, YOY for YTD +7.5%
Metals and Products +17.5% YOY growth for week, 10.7% YOY growth for YTD


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