Week Ending 31Dec2011: Rail Traffic ends 2011 Up 3.6% over 2010

January 6th, 2012
in econ_news

Econintersect: 2011 ended with a fourth quarter spurt of 4.3% gain year-over-year to bring the total rail traffic growth to 3.6% in 2011.

Weekly rail traffic growth year-over-year remains solid - outperforming other weak segments 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 52 of 2011 ending 31 December 2011, rail traffic grew 4.7% 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 2011, the growth rate declined. In August and September, weekly rail traffic contracted 4 times year-over-year - but since October turned moderately positive.

This week the 4 week average shows year-over-year growth at 8.2%, up from 7.6% last week. Rail traffic usually contracts through the end of the year - but it was surprisingly strong in comparison to 2010. The current strengthening growth is not indicating a weakening economy.

Total US Rail Traffic

Major Commodity Groups Total Grain Chemicals Food Forest Metals Coal Autos Intermodal
Current Week
Vs. 2010 4.7% (2.4%) 0.4% (6.0%) (1.3%) 8.9% (0.5%) 7.8% 8.6%
Vs. 2009 13.7% 0.8% 13.6% (2.6%) 20.1% 40.1% (1.4%) 16.6% 21.5%
4 Week Rolling Avg.
Vs. 2010 8.2% (4.4%) 6.0% (0.2%) 4.7% 13.9% 5.7% 20.0% 9.4%
Vs. 2009 20.8% 6.5% 19.9% 1.5% 18.5% 41.3% 15.3% 16.3% 23.8%
Quarter to Date
Vs. 2010 4.3% (10.7%) 4.5% (2.0%) 3.4% 9.1% 2.5% 16.4% 5.3%
Vs. 2009 14.7% (4.9%) 14.1% (2.1%) 10.3% 42.8% 8.1% 11.6% 18.9%
Year to Date
Vs. 2010 3.6% (2.5%) 4.8% (2.6%) 3.5% 8.7% 0.3% 9.7% 5.4%
Vs. 2009 14.2% 8.3% 15.0% (0.3%) 8.1% 50.1% 1.5% 28.6% 20.4%


4 week rolling average:

 

Source: Railfax









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