Rail traffic continues to recover, but from very depressed levels as noted on the Railfax Carloading Report.
Changes Since 2007
Railfax has modified their site to use Tableau software. Controls allow you slide bars to see any timeframes you want. Inquiring minds will want to check it out. I selected a timeframe of 2007 on.
Interestingly, the top charts shows the recession bottom in summer of 2009 quite nicely.
I am a big fan of Tableau Software but that second chart is fantasy material, especially the projection for cyclical traffic.
The following table will help put things into perspective.
Total traffic is up 10.4% year to date vs 2009, but down 8.6% from 2008.
Autos are up 24.2% vs 2009 but down 25.4% vs 2008.
Some 17 months into a “recovery” we are not only below 2008 totals but 2007 totals as well. Moreover, much of the bounce we have seen has been inventory replenishment and the Fed knows it.
If the real economy was not fragile as eggshells (broken is actually more like it), there would not be a QEII.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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