Thursday, November 17, 2011

US Production & Railcar Traffic

Despite the worsening financial turmoil in Europe, US industrial production rose once again to a new cyclical high during October. Manufacturing output rose for the fourth consecutive month. It is up 4.1% y/y and 4.4% (saar) on average over the past three months compared to the previous three months. Production of business equipment has been especially strong, with information processing at a new record high and output of industrial goods at a cyclical high. Motor vehicle assemblies rose to 9.3 million units (saar) during October, up from the year’s low of 7.9 million units during all three months of Q2.

Also moving along nicely in the US is railcar traffic. The 26-week average of car loads rose to a new cyclical high of 292.7 units during the week of November 5, the highest since the week of February 21, 2009. Intermodal loadings rose to a new cyclical high as well and are approaching the record high near the end of 2006. Both suggest that production remains strong, while the intermodal data also suggest that imports are strong as the holiday season approaches. Recent inventories data suggest that most of the production and imports are going to meet final demand.

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