posted on 05 February 2015
Econintersect: Week 4 of 2015 shows same week total rail traffic (from same week one year ago) improved according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR) traffic data. It was also reported that January 2015 rail traffic was higher than January 2014. Our analysis shows a strong first month of 2015 for rail movements.
This analysis is looking for clues in the rail data to show the direction of economic activity - and is not necessarily looking for clues of profitability of the railroads. The weekly data is fairly noisy, and the best way to view it is to look at the rolling averages which generally are in a general growth cycle.
A summary of the data from the AAR:
Coal is over 1/3 of the total railcar count, and this week is 9.2% higher than the production estimate in the comparable week in 2014. The middle row in the table below removes coal and grain from the changes in the railcar counts as neither of these commodities is economically intuitive.
[click on graph below to enlarge]
Current Rail Chart:
For the week ended January 31, 2015:
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