Rail traffic has been a little choppy these last few weeks because of some unevenness in the seasonality of the reports, but the overall trend has remained strong. This week's data brings the 12-week moving average to 6.3%, which is the highest reading in over seven months. Yesterday's 3.6% GDP is clearly being confirmed by strength in rail traffic. Here's more via AAR:
AAR today also reported decreased rail traffic for the week ending Nov. 30, 2013, which included Thanksgiving this year but was a non-holiday week in 2012. U.S. railroads originated 255,628 carloads last week, down 16.3 percent compared with the same week last year, while intermodal volume for the week totaled 207,888 units, down 13.9 percent compared with the same week last year. Total U.S. rail traffic for the week ending Nov. 30 was 463,516 carloads and intermodal units, down 15.2 percent compared with the same week last year.
Even with the Thanksgiving holiday this year, two of the 10 carload commodity groups tracked on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week in 2012: petroleum and petroleum products, up 7.2 percent; and grain, up 5.2 percent.