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The latest reading on intermodal rail traffic came in at 2.8% year over year. That's up from last week, but generally flat relative to the last 12 weeks where the moving average has stabilized at about 2%. The good news is that we're still in growth territory. Of course, the bad news is that it's very small growth.

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has more details on this week's report:

The Association of American Railroads reported mixed weekly rail traffic for the week ending July 20, 2013, with total U.S. weekly carloads of 277,933 carloads, down 3% compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 253,424 units, up 2.8% compared with the same week last year. Total U.S. traffic for the week was 531,357 carloads and intermodal units, down 0.3% compared with the same week last year.

Five of the 10 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, led by petroleum and petroleum products, up 28%. Commodities showing a decrease compared with the same week last year included grain, down 9.1%.

For the first 29 weeks of 2013, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 8,020,326 carloads, down 1.5% from the same point last year, and 6,977,660 intermodal units, up 3.4% from last year. Total U.S. traffic for the first 29 weeks of 2013 was 14,997,986 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.7% from last year.

(click to enlarge)

Source: Rail Traffic: Sluggish, But Still Expanding