econintersect.com
       
  

FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.



posted on 23 December 2016

Rail Week Ending 17 December 2016: Another Relatively Bad Week

Week 50 of 2016 shows same week total rail traffic (from same week one year ago) declined according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR) traffic data. Ignoring coal and grain which actually made a positive contribution - this was a very bad week.

Analyst Opinion of the Rail Data

We review this data set to understand the economy. If coal and grain are removed from the analysis, rail over the last 6 months been declining around 5% - but this week declined 6.9 %.

The contraction in rail counts began over one year ago, and now rail movements are being compared against weaker 2015 data - and this is the cause periodic acceleration in the short term rolling averages. Still, rail is weak to very week compared to previous years.

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 (carloads and intermodal combined).

Percent current rolling average is larger than the rolling average of one year ago Current quantities accelerating or decelerating Current rolling average accelerating or decelerating compared to the rolling average one year ago
4 week rolling average +0.3 % decelerating decelerating
13 week rolling average -1.4 % decelerating accelerating
52 week rolling average -6.2 % decelerating accelerating

A summary of the data from the AAR:

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ending December 17, 2016.

For this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 523,949 carloads and intermodal units, down 0.3 percent compared with the same week last year.

Total carloads for the week ending December 17 were 254,700 carloads, down 2.8 percent compared with the same week in 2015, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 269,249 containers and trailers, up 2.2 percent compared to 2015.

Three of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2015. They were grain, up 5.3 percent to 24,193 carloads; coal, up 2.5 percent to 87,219 carloads; and metallic ores and metals, up 1.5 percent to 20,955 carloads. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2015 included petroleum and petroleum products, down 15.6 percent to 11,089 carloads; nonmetallic minerals, down 12.5 percent to 27,842 carloads; and motor vehicles and parts, down 10.8 percent to 17,640 carloads.

For the first 50 weeks of 2016, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 12,636,976 carloads, down 8.8 percent from the same point last year; and 13,027,744 intermodal units, down 2.3 percent from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 50 weeks of 2016 was 25,664,720 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 5.6 percent compared to last year.

Coal is over 1/3 of the total railcar count, and this week the EIA says coal production is 6.2 % higher than the production estimate in the comparable week in 2015.

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.

This Week Carloads Intermodal Total
This week Year-over-Year -2.8 % +2.2 % -0.3 %
Ignoring coal and grain -6.9 %
Year Cumulative to Date -8.8 % -2.3 % -5.6 %

[click on graph below to enlarge]

Current Rail Chart:

z rail1.png

For the week ended December 17, 2016

  • Estimated U.S. coal production totaled approximately 15.7 million short tons (mmst)
  • This production estimate is 0.8% lower than last week's estimate and 6.2% higher than the production estimate in the comparable week in 2015
  • East of the Mississippi River coal production totaled 5.9 mmst
  • West of the Mississippi River coal production totaled 9.8 mmst
  • U.S. year-to-date coal production totaled 711.1 mmst, 18.5% lower than the comparable year-to-date coal production in 2015

Coal production from EIA.gov

Steven Hansen



>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<



Permanent link to most recent post on this topic

Click here for Historical Releases Listing










Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted. You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.






Econintersect Economic Releases


search_box

Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF


The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.


Take a look at what is going on inside of Econintersect.com
Main Home
Analysis Blog
Was Marx Right?
Angst in America, Part 5: The Crisis We Can’t Muddle Through
News Blog
Death Toll Still Rising Two Years Into Yemen Conflict
Citizen Scientists Discover New Type Of Aurora
A Drop In The Bucket
What We Read Today 30 April 2017
Voice Recognition Elevator In Scotland
May 2017 Economic Forecast: Return to Normal Growth
Guanxi: How Business Is Done In China
Measuring Interest Rate Risk In The Very Long Term
2016 Small Business Credit Survey: A Significant Majority Relied On Personal Finances
How Economic Changes Affect Congressional Budget Office's Budget Projections
Three Public Relations Blunders And How Your Company Can Learn From Them
Infographic Of The Day: Cheat Sheet: NAFTA's Mixed Track Record Since 1994
Early Headlines: Trump Blames Dems And Constitution For Chaos, US Child Poverty, Winter Leaves North New England, Labour Gains In Polls, And More
Investing Blog
Market And Sector Analysis 30 April 2017
The Week Ahead:Can Employment Continue As The Engine Of The Economy?
Opinion Blog
Chinese Internet Leaders Will Shake The World
Why Did Marine Le Pen Resign From Her Party? It's All Part Of The Plan
Precious Metals Blog
A New Age For Gold
Live Markets
28Apr2017 Market Close: Wall Street Closed Mostly Down On News The U.S. Economy Grew At Its Weakest Pace In Three Years, WTI Crude Settles In The Low 49 Handle
Amazon Books & More






.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government































 navigate econintersect.com

Blogs

Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day
Weather

Newspapers

Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government
     

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed
Google+
Facebook
Twitter
Digg

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution

Contact

About

  Top Economics Site

Investing.com Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2017 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved