Week Ending 18February2012: Rail Volumes Contract, May Have Economic Implications

February 23rd, 2012
in econ_news

Econintersect: Week 7 of 2012 ending 18February 2012 shows rail traffic contracted significantly over 2011 levels according to data released by the American Association of Railroads (AAR).

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported a decline in weekly rail traffic for the week ending February 18, 2012, with U.S. railroads originating 281,989 carloads, down 5.2 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 221,003 trailers and containers, down 5.6 percent compared with the same week last year.

The majority of the reason for the contraction is coal movements - which only effect the profitability of railroads, and not an economic indicator as coal is an alternative fuel.  HOWEVER, intermodal is an economic indicator - and, a contraction of this data bears attention.

Follow up:

Week 7 2012 Carloads Intermodal Total
This week Year-over-Year -5.2% -5.6% -4.2%
Year Cumulative to Date 0.3% 2.2% 1.3%



[click on above table to enlarge]

Note that the total year-to-date traffic is slightly ahead of 2011 rates inspite of the slowdown in the latest week.

Source: AAR



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