Total North American rail traffic was unchanged last week at 692k. It makes the 3rd consecutive week the total has surpassed 690K, a level not seen since 2008 and brings the 4 week moving average to a level not seen since 2008.
This rail traffic does not jive with the “dramatically slowing US economy” theme we seem to be hearing lately. Again, I am not saying we see a return to 3%-4% GDP. What I am saying is these indicators would seem to suggest a GDP level > the 1.6% we saw in Q2 and certainly pushes any risk of a double dip into mid-late 2011 as Sept retail sales #’s would seem to eliminate a Q4 2010 retraction as there is still adequate consumer demand to support growth.
The biggest risk to the economy for the rest of the year? Washington...