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Friday, August 24, 2012

Watching The Rails For Clues On 2nd Half Economic Growth

The railcar data provide clues about recent trends in economic activity. Intermodal shipments have leveled off, signaling some cooling in international trade, while building materials shipments are gaining strength.

The most dramatic turnaround in railroad traffic has been in shipments of
lumber, which have gained momentum over the past year and are currently
up 16.1 percent. The increase reflects gains in homebuilding. The leading
states for lumber shipments are Oregon, Washington, and South Carolina.

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