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4/10/10 WEEKLY RAIL SHIPPING DATA: STEAMING AHEAD

Below is the updated twenty-eight week data compilation of 2009/10 rail shipping weekly figures compared to 2008/09. The Delta change illustrates the rate of change between the previous weeks data. The average at the bottom shows how the delta change average is changing over time. Why is this data useful: To track actual economic recovery outside of government stimulus money, which has distorted real GDP growth data.
 
4/16 STATEMENT: All things being equal the rail shipping data for the week looks good. Steady improvement is occurring across all three period’s tracked, compared to last year. I’d like to stick with last week’s statement but if rail traffic continues to improve throughout the summer, industrial production and GDP will follow.
 
RAIL TRAFFIC
2010/09 COMPARED TO 2009/08
 
 
 
Yr to Date
 
Current Wk
 
4 Wk Roll Av
DATE
 
Delta
 
Delta
 
Delta
 
 
Change
 
Change
 
Change
4/10/2010
5.4
0.7
15.5
6.7
11.2
1.8
4/3/2010
4.7
0.3
8.8
-5.8
9.4
-0.1
3/26/2010
4.4
0.9
14.6
8.2
9.5
1.5
3/19/2010
3.5
0.3
6.4
-1.5
8
0.1
3/12/2010
3.2
0.5
7.9
-1.4
7.9
3.2
3/5/2010
2.7
0.8
9.3
1
4.7
1.6
2/27/2010
1.9
1
8.3
2.9
3.1
0.5
2/20/2010
0.9
0.8
5.4
10
2.6
0.4
2/13/2010
0.1
-1
-4.6
-7.6
2.2
-1.5
2/6/2010
1.1
0.4
3
-4.2
3.7
3
1/30/2010
0.7
2.1
7.2
3.7
0.7
1.9
1/23/2010
-1.4
2.9
3.5
3.4
-1.2
0.4
1/16/2010
-4.3
4.3
0.1
8.7
-1.6
-1.1
1/9/2010
-8.6
6.7
-8.6
-8.4
-0.5
-0.2
1/2/2010
-15.3
0.2
-0.2
-5
-0.3
1.3
12/26/2009
-15.5
0.3
4.8
1
-1.6
1.8
12/19/2009
-15.8
0.4
3.8
9.6
-3.4
2.1
12/12/2009
-16.2
0.1
-5.8
-0.9
-5.5
0.4
12/5/2009
-16.3
0.2
-4.9
0
-5.9
1.7
11/28/2009
-16.5
0.2
-4.9
0.4
-7.6
1.8
11/21/2009
-16.7
0.2
-5.3
3.1
-9.4
1.9
11/14/2009
-16.9
0.2
-8.4
2.7
-11.3
1.4
11/7/2009
-17.1
0.2
-11.1
1.5
-12.7
0.9
10/31/2009
-17.3
0.3
-12.6
-0.4
-13.6
0
10/24/2009
-17.6
0.3
-12.2
1.7
-13.6
0.4
11/11/2009
-17.9
0.1
-13.9
1.1
-14
2
10/3/2009
-18
0.1
-15
1.2
-16
1.2
9/26/2009
-18.1
0
-16.2
0
-17.2
0
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/23/2010
AVERAGE=
0.98
AVERAGE=
1.16
AVERAGE=
0.94
1/30/2010
AVERAGE=
1.04
AVERAGE=
1.30
AVERAGE=
0.99
2/6/2010
AVERAGE=
1.01
AVERAGE=
1.01
AVERAGE=
1.10
2/13/2010
AVERAGE=
0.91
AVERAGE=
0.58
AVERAGE=
0.97
2/20/2010
AVERAGE=
0.90
AVERAGE=
1.03
AVERAGE=
0.94
2/27/2010
AVERAGE=
0.91
AVERAGE=
1.11
AVERAGE=
0.92
3/5/2010
AVERAGE=
0.90
AVERAGE=
1.11
AVERAGE=
0.95
3/12/2010
AVERAGE=
0.89
AVERAGE=
1.00
AVERAGE=
1.05
3/19/2010
AVERAGE=
0.86
AVERAGE=
0.90
AVERAGE=
1.01
3/26/2010
AVERAGE=
0.87
AVERAGE=
1.18
AVERAGE=
1.03
4/3/2010
AVERAGE=
0.84
AVERAGE=
0.93
AVERAGE=
0.99
4/10/2010
AVERAGE=
0.84
AVERAGE=
1.13
AVERAGE=
1.01
 
 
4/11/10 STATEMENT: An interesting relationship is beginning to occur. If you look at the delta change between each week reported data and the floating change in the average of delta change at the bottom of the data, you will notice that the floating average of the weekly delta change is starting to drop off. In essence this is the beginning of an indication of a slowing rate of increase in shipping between weeks. If this persists into the spring it will not bode well for July on, as last year figures in rail traffic begin to improve. Rail traffic must record strong week over week gains to substantiate a real recovery outside of the government printing press.
 
Other than that all 7 groups, including coal are in the green with improving percentages over last year. Gold broke to the upside, at $1161.80 after probing $1162. Any close above $1162 would indicate a test of the old high of $1226. Silver is probing $19 and could break to the upside and break through $20. Point being, that this is not the action you really want to see if all is well in La La Land. It was rumored last week that GS, the monster, a took delivery of physical gold and George Soros’s fund disclosed that they bought more gold but didn’t disclose if it was delivered or future’s contracts. Again, this is not what recoveries are made from, these are bets against paper money, all forms of it, and it’s not a good sign.
 
3/26 STATEMENT: For the first time in many months coal has risen into positive territory with a 15.2% raise above last year. Now all 7 sectors are in positive territory with metals up 42.3% above last year. The year to date running averages, in all 3 time periods, are now tracking positive and the change between weekly periods, (delta) is also beginning to look better. The delta change running average, at the bottom of the reported data, have yet to begin to raise. The 4 wk roll av delta changing average in March, many be pointing to sequential weekly increases in rail shipping. It will take 2 or 3 more reports to confirm this. Remember; April, May and June of last year should be easy to beat. The SPX ranged around 900, we are now just below 1200. If rail, year to date data, can’t show significant increases during this period, we are in trouble this fall. 
 
This is an encouraging report, if the improvement continues to increase weekly. The 14.6%, current weekly increase, if repeated for a few weeks, will signal real production increases beginning to form, in the economy. This report coupled with a 123,000 net increase in jobs needs to continue to take on some serious momentum this spring, to compensate for government stimulus withdrawal. With data such as this any mild correction of 8 to 10% should be bought into.
 
 
3/19/2010 STATEMENT: I must admit I have a bias. I don’t think there is much of an underlying economic recovery outside of government stimulus. Rail traffic please proves me wrong. So, compared to last year at the horrible bottom we are obviously doing better. The volatile weekly data series is up but now dropping and the change between weeks, reflected by the delta, is a little negative. If, this continues it will begin to pull the 4 week rolling average down, not a good sign.
 
One, has to ask the question: Is this improvement enough to effect GDP, x-gov? There was a surprised increase in corporate spending which made a liar of the PCI diesel index. Is this improvement in corp. spending and a million census workers buying new shoes, enough to compensate for the drying up of gov spending? 
 
The bond market last week is really quite unsure. A drop in bond subscription rates and a lengthening of the tail, (how long the bonds take to be absorbed) is a serious problem. Even the ex-criminal, I mean ex-chairman of the fed, Greenspan, passed statement on the subject. It was flushed down our throats by a Bloomberg talking head basking in ‘His Eminences’ golden radiance.
So, on Sunday I’m getting down on my hands and knees and raising my arms up to the corporate heavens and pray’n: O lords of finance please send a few more containers down those tracks of commerce, for all our sakes.
 


Disclosure: none