April 19th, 2012
Econintersect: Week 15 of 2012 ending 14 April 2012 shows rail traffic continued to contract over 2011 levels according to data released by the American Association of Railroads (AAR).
“Twelve of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, with petroleum products, up 39 percent; metallic ores, up 16.7 percent, and motor vehicles and equipment, up 15.3 percent. The groups showing a significant decrease in weekly traffic included farm products excluding grain, down 28.1 percent; coal, down 18.2 percent, and grain, down 16.3 percent. ”
The pattern in the data is the same as it has been for over a month. The majority of the reason for the contraction is coal movements - which would only effect the profitability of railroads, and not really an economic indicator as coal is an alternative fuel. Last week rail contracted after removing coal, but this week moderate growth continued.
|Week 11 2012||Carloads||Intermodal||Total|
|This week Year-over-Year||-6.4%||1.6%||-5.7%|
|This week without coal
|Year Cumulative to Date||-3.1%||2.4%||-2.3%|
Note that the total year-to-date traffic is contracting year-over-year.