The Numbers for March
According to the Association of American Railroads' (AAR) Rail Time Indicators report, U.S. carload traffic in March 2011 rose 3.4% over 2010 and 2% from February 2011. That shows decent growth, but readers should also remember that bad weather earlier in the year curtailed some traffic at that time. Accordingly, it seems like growth is slowing as the year-over-year comps get increasingly difficult.
The numbers for Canada are different (up 0.9% in March 2011 from last year and up 3.7% from February 2011), but close enough to suggest that more or less the same trends are at work.
Intermodal results were a little different; for the U.S. there was 8.5% annual growth from March 2010 to March 2011 and 0.5% sequential growth since February 2011, while in Canada the respective numbers were 2% and -2.1% over the same time periods. (For more on rail stocks, check out Rail Stocks Chugging Right Along.)
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Note: Please note, due to an error in the editing process, publication of this piece was delayed about two weeks.