Rail traffic continues to show signs of growth as the latest reading on intermodal traffic came in at 6.2%. This was the highest reading we've had in six months and brought the 12-week moving average to 3.4%, also a six-month high. No signs of government shutdown or economic slowdown in this data.
Here's more from the Association of American Railroads:
The Association of American Railroads reported mixed weekly rail traffic for the week ending Oct. 5, 2013, with total U.S. weekly carloads of 279,128 carloads, down 1.6 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 266,580 units, up 6.2 percent compared with the same week last year, and up for the 14th straight week in a row. Total U.S. rail traffic for the week was 545,708 combined carloads and intermodal units, up 2.1 percent compared with the same week last year.
Seven of the 10 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, including motor vehicles and parts, with 18,187 carloads or 12.3 percent, and metallic ores and metals, with 26,326 carloads or 10.1 percent. Commodities showing a decrease compared with the same week last year included coal, with 99,266 carloads or 11.4 percent.
For the first 40 weeks of 2013, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 11,219,666 carloads, down 0.9 percent from the same point last year, and 9,814,344 intermodal units, up 3.7 percent from last year. Total U.S. traffic for the first 40 weeks of 2013 was 21,034,010 carloads and intermodal units, up 1.2 percent from last year.