March 1st, 2012
Econintersect: Week 8 of 2012 ending 25February 2012 shows rail traffic continued to contract 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 25, 2012, with U.S. railroads originating 281,644 carloads, down 5 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 214,402 trailers and containers, down 2.8 percent compared with the same week last year.
The majority of the reason for the contraction is coal movements - which should only effect the profitability of railroads, and not really an economic indicator as coal is an alternative fuel. HOWEVER, intermodal also down, and is an economic indicator - therefore, a contraction of this data point bears attention.
|Week 8 2012||Carloads||Intermodal||Total|
|This week Year-over-Year||-5.0%||-2.8%||-4.2%|
|This week without coal
|Year Cumulative to Date||-0.3%||1.6%||0.6%|
Note that the total year-to-date traffic is slightly ahead of 2011 rates inspite of the slowdown in the last two weeks.