Rail Traffic Growth Continues in w/e 12 November 2011

November 18th, 2011
in econ_news

Econintersect: Weekly rail traffic growth was not as good this week - but the year-over-year growth is still better than GDP and most sectors of the economy. Rail traffic ends up being a leading indicator as it moves goods that will enter the economy weeks and months from now.

The latest data for week 45 of 2011 ending 12 November 2011, rail traffic grew 2.6% over the same week one year ago according to data provided by Railfax.

Follow up:

Rail performance up to June 2011 was growing 3% to 4%.  From June through September, growth declined year to date for 2011 was in an overall downtrend which began in June when growth dropped below 3% to 4% year-over-year improvement on the four week trend line. In August and September, weekly rail traffic contracted 4 times year-over-year - but since October has again turned moderately positive.

In October, the short term trend has been improving and has now entered its old trend of the first half of 2011. This week the 4 week average shows year-over-year growth at 3.1%, up from 2.8% last week. Econintersect believes low growth year-over-year is an economic warning that a recession is possible. But if growth starts to pick up, the threat of recession will begin to recede.

Total US Rail Traffic

Major Commodity Groups Total Grain Chemicals Food Forest Metals Coal Autos Intermodal
Current Week
Vs. 2010 2.6% (17.9%) 2.3% (7.0%) 4.9% 1.5% 2.1% 13.2% 5.2%
Vs. 2009 11.3% (12.8%) 7.7% (4.5%) 8.5% 45.5% 4.5% (3.3%) 17.7%
4 Week Rolling Avg.
Vs. 2010 3.1% (15.2%) 3.8% (4.0%) 2.8% 8.6% 2.3% 13.5% 4.4%
Vs. 2009 12.8% (10.6%) 11.7% (3.8%) 6.8% 45.0% 6.3% 9.0% 17.8%
Quarter to Date
Vs. 2010 2.7% (14.2%) 4.7% (3.6%) 2.9% 8.0% 1.4% 12.4% 3.8%
Vs. 2009 13.0% (7.6%) 12.8% (4.0%) 7.1% 45.9% 5.8% 12.3% 17.6%
Year to Date
Vs. 2010 3.3% (1.8%) 4.8% (2.9%) 3.4% 8.5% (0.2%) 8.2% 5.2%
Vs. 2009 13.9% 10.2% 15.0% (0.3%) 7.4% 51.8% 0.2% 32.0% 20.5%

4 week rolling average:

 

source: Railfax









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