We just passed week 22 in the railroad year:
Total carloads for the week ending Jun. 4 were 224,258 carloads, down 16.6 percent compared with the same week in 2015, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 231,088 containers and trailers, down 17.9 percent compared to 2015.
Two of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2015. They were grain, up 2.3 percent to 18,628 carloads; and miscellaneous carloads, up 0.5 percent to 9,008 carloads. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2015 included petroleum and petroleum products, down 29.1 percent to 9,706 carloads; coal, down 23 percent to 68,008 carloads; and motor vehicles and parts, down 20.9 percent to 15,411 carloads.
For the first 22 weeks of 2016, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 5,274,449 carloads, down 13.7 percent from the same point last year; and 5,648,851 intermodal units, down 2.1 percent from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 22 weeks of 2016 was 10,923,300 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 8.1 percent compared to last year. (AAR)
This chart from the AAR excludes coal and grain which both have their own dynamic.
U.S. Wholesale Inventories Post Firm Increase Inventories at the wholesale level increased 0.6% during April following a 0.2% March gain…
Inventories at the wholesale level increased 0.6% during April following a 0.2% March gain, revised from 0.1%. It was the largest increase since last June. (…) Wholesale sector sales increased 1.0% (-5.3% y/y) after a 0.6% March gain. (…) The inventory-to-sales ratio in the wholesale sector eased to 1.35, down from the expansion high of 1.37 reached three months earlier.
(…) At the opposite end of the spectrum lie Federal Reserve speakers, most of whom appear to be suffering from an inability to contain themselves to the detriment of their audiences. So damaging is FedSpeak, so to speak, that it’s become the Fed’s greatest liability, chipping away at what little credibility monetary policymakers have left in reserve.
Perhaps what is most disturbing about today’s stretch of FedSpeak is how it parallels with the months preceding the Great Recession. Over the last few weeks, Fed officials appear to be mystified at the tea leaves staring back at them from the bottoms of their cups despite there being no question of ambiguity. (…)
Bond yields fall across the globe New lows for German and Japanese sovereign debt
Americans’ Total Wealth Hits Record, Fed Report Says The wealth of Americans reached a record in the first quarter, with rising home values offsetting stock-market wobbles at the start of the year, according to a Federal Reserve report released Thursday.
The wealth of Americans reached a record of $88.1 trillion in the first quarter, with rising home values offsetting stock-market wobbles at the start of the year.
The boost to wealth was driven by a $498 billion increase in residential real-estate values around the U.S., while the overall value of equities declined by $160 billion, according to a Federal Reserve report released on Thursday. (…)
One key difference between the increase in asset values today versus a decade ago is that Americans aren’t taking on as much debt. Total household liabilities rose by $17 billion in the first quarter and remained lower than their level during the financial crisis.