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Rail Time Indicators

A Review of Key Economic Trends Shaping the Demand for Rail Transportation

Policy & Economics Department Association of American Railroads Washington, DC

May 19, 2009

Canadian Freight Rail Traffic (p.8% in April from March.5% in April from March. 8) Capacity Utilization (p. From Q3 2008 to Q4 2008.5%. 202-639-2326) or Shannon Stare (sstare@aar.1% in April. 1) Most Recent Data Down 23. 69. materials and supplies.1% in April. 10) Index of Consumer Confidence (p.5% in April from March. please contact Dan Keen (dkeen@aar. 1) Gross Domestic Product (p. down from 69. Up to 39.0% (carloads).org. It is issued near the middle of each month by the Policy & Economics Department of the Association of American Railroads. Down 6.2%.5% in 2009. Up to 27.2 in April from 26. wage supplements up 0.997 in February. 6) Purchasing Managers Index (p. fuel down 33.4% in March. 154.1% in Q1 2009 (preliminary figure). 7) Index of Industrial Production (p.3 in March.4% in April from March. down 18. 9) Class I Railroad Employment (p. Down 0. 11) Retail Sales (p. 40.6 in April from 26. Down 2. 13) Railroad Cost Index (p. To get on the e-mail distribution list for Rail Time Indicators or to suggest ways to improve it.S.Rail Time Indicators is a non-technical summary of many of the key economic indicators potentially of interest to U.4% (carloads).9% (intermodal) in April 2009 from April 2008. wages up 0.000 in April from March. freight railroads.6%. up from 36. 13) Consumer Price Index (p.2%. Dollar (p. up 10. 14) Value of the U.S. 202-639-2322).3% in March. up from 8.9 in March.1% in April from March. 9) Unemployment Rate (p. Freight Rail Traffic (p. Down 12. Down 0.org. 8) Non-Farm Employment (p. Down 26. Virtually flat in April from March.960 in March. ************************************************** SUMMARY FOR APRIL 2009 Economic Indicator U. 12) Housing Starts (p. 8. Down 5. down 17. 15) .S. 11) Light Vehicle Sales (p.2% (intermodal) in April 2009 from April 2008.9% in April. down from 156. 15) Dow Jones Economic Sentiment Indicator (p. Down 539.

and Canadian railroads.000 120. motor vehicles and equipment (down 40.418 trailers and containers.S. are weekly average originations for each month.S. railroads included coal (down 96. Average weekly rail carloads in April 2009 on U. rail carload traffic was down in 19 of the 19 commodity categories in April 2009 compared to April 2008. and grain (down 35.S.S.000 2006 110. as well as from several non-Class I U.4 percent). railroads in April 2009 were down 23.S. primarily steel (down 41. Source: AAR Weekly Railroad Traffic • Canadian Rail Traffic: Carloads + Intermodal Units 140. Excludes U.981 units.2% (611.958 carloads).4% (106.000 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Data are for CN and CP (including their U.000 2009 • 90.010.000 575. Commodities showing the largest carload declines in April 2009 on U.2% (297.3 percent).000 80.278. What is it and why is it important? • Rail traffic data (carloads. U. or 28.721 carloads. or 13.S.S.2% (44.846 units) to 201.603 carloads) and Canadian intermodal traffic was down 14.705 carloads) in April 2009 to 296. For the first four months of 2009.612 carloads) from April 2008 to 1. railroads (255.407 carloads.S. 2009 Page 1 of 15 .7 percent). U. Rail Time Indicators – May 19.494 carloads.S.820 carloads.000 2007 • 130.794 carloads. and containers) for the previous week from each of the Class I U.000 425. Canadian rail carloads were down 22. year-to-date intermodal traffic was down 16.000 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Data are weekly average originations for each month and reflect revisions from original reporting.S.651 units).000 2008 100. operations of CN and Canadian Pacific) fell 26. Canadian carload traffic (which includes both the Canadian and U.530 trailers and containers) in April 2009 to 917. every Thursday morning (except holidays).1 percent).000 525. while Canadian intermodal traffic fell 18. operations of CN and CP. or 62. railroads) • • • 475.000 2009 2008 2007 (second most traffic ever for U. metals and metal products.332 trailers and containers). What are the latest numbers? • Carloads originated on U. This marks the sixth straight double-digit monthly carload decline.9% (199.759) were the lowest of any month since at least 1988 (which is as far back as comparable AAR monthly data go). railroads) 2006 (most traffic ever for U.FREIGHT RAIL TRAFFIC Who releases it and when? • The Association of American Railroads (AAR).0% (382.) U. Intermodal traffic (which is not included in carloads) was down 17. Rail Traffic: Carloads + Intermodal Units 625.000 600. and reflect revisions from original reporting (including acquisitions).S.2% (1. railroads. For the first four months of 2009. Carload data are classified in one of 19 major commodity categories. operations). or 46. (See table next page. Source: AAR Weekly Railroad Traffic Where to go for more information: • Weekly AAR press releases on railroad traffic are available on the AAR web site here.000 550.0% (112.S.322 carloads.000 450.S.000 500. rail carloadings were down 18. trailers.

649 -28.165 -64.5% -20.843 -30.526 12.782 3.846 1.2% -5.371 46.019 31.794 155.239 -27.111 917.299 -46.928 6.741 121.198 106.884 35.879 -14.694 -24.5% -49.656 53.161.075 5.9% -37.953 -25.026 86.7% -27. Source: AAR Weekly Railroad Traffic Monthly U.360 24.4% -23.566 98.544 429.684 873.3% -16.2% -32.406 -382.5% -32.366 2. Rail Traffic* Commodity Agricultural Products Grain Farm Products Excl.1% -36.370 46.268 40.616 -4. operations.S.366 188.197 -12.076 67. Florida East Coast.981 Apr 08 Differ.259 -1. % Chng -146.449 39.177 25. Does not include CN's and CP's U.977 130.990 19.134 -14.731 256.9% -17.873 -24.274.098 25.117.327 -24.456 -343.024 43.322 87.530 *Data are originations.299 -169.631 -5.7% -60.335 125.222 -6.0% -62.404 116.444.359 106.605 156.499 130.491 24.318 3.474 47.976 -5.984 50.407 4.1% -46.830 1.804 Differ.418 27.416 132.289 -8. Birmingham Southern.546 326.3% -26.7% -19.369 87.090 20.009 560.2% -21.686 4.319 -40.172 46.835 551.8% -26.239 13.595 -7.2% -17.6% -20.378 10.237 -15.601.375 -21.306 -19.726 161.951 30.530.1% -25.806 365.192 44.9% -56.209 78.919 98.278.414 96.030 2.4% -22.122 91.665 2.360 -26.619 155. Gravel.261 37. Includes BNSF.894 -109.998 -103.528 -66.5% -38.2% -54.8% -17. CSX.395 12.494 -41.2% -50.334 26.6% -31.957 -111.9% YTD 2009 606.128 426.6% -14.772.388 84.8% -34.013 317.9% -14.848 253.536 -94. 2009 Page 2 of 15 . Rail Carload Traffic (% change in originations from same month previous year) 15% 10% 5% 0% -5% -10% -15% -20% -25% Source: AAR Weekly Railroad Traffic Monthly U. Sand Nonmetallic Minerals Stone.472 YTD 2008 753.820 180. Rail Intermodal Traffic (% change in originations from same month previous year) 15% 10% 5% 0% -5% -10% -15% 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 -20% -25% 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Source: AAR Weekly Railroad Traffic Rail Time Indicators – May 19.265 29.3% -17.111 89.189 -35.641 -1.183 32.056 634.055 107.3% -25.388 -7.5% -24.540.945.0% -36.302 -7.661.S.7% 4.442 3.486 2.3% -23.332 -19.S. Grain Grain Mill Products Food Products Chemicals Chemicals Petroleum Products Coal Forest Products Primary Forest Products Lumber & Wood Products Pulp & Paper Products Metallic Ores & Metals Metallic Ores Coke Metals & Products Motor Vehicles & Equipment Nonmetallic Minerals & Prod.2% 221.9% -13.002 -116.494 66.3% -11.554 -87.714 -157.024 527. % Chng -23.2% -9. Lake Superior & Ishpeming.0% -19.714 106. Other Waste & Scrap Material All Other Carloads TOTAL ALL CARLOADS Trailers Containers TOTAL ALL INTERMODAL Apr 09 170.4% -32.707 149.568 215.463 172.8% -20.819 18.057 63. and Paducah & Louisville.058 -18.648 -62.673 -61.611 -1.010.870 762. UP.612 243. KCS.6% -46.190 28.791 154.S.878 66.488 433.958 -267.967 827. Crushed Stone.162 524.573 135.707 -124.141 64.800 625.511 -199.997 -179.876 -611.3% -18. Clay & Glass Prod.1% -54.401 312.446 -51.688 37.0% -12.4% -29.985 -9.288 22.7% -12.058 195.223 78.2% -38.422 721.3% -6.7% -37.U.7% -16.727 39.407 -50.582 -32.2% -28. NS.408 -65.763 52.019 3.429 1.374 223.509 12.865 -96.809 185.4% -31.9% -27.583 -16.363 134.687 155.

9% -34.1% -2. Grain Grain Mill Products Food Products Chemicals Chemicals Petroleum Products Coal Forest Products Primary Forest Products Lumber & Wood Products Pulp & Paper Products Metallic Ores & Metals Metallic Ores Coke Metals & Products Motor Vehicles & Equipment Nonmetallic Minerals & Prod.340.301 4.669 -5.212 7.694 1.305 4.555 -6.7% -27.040 -1. operations.9% 61.701 13.7% -23.588 1.7% -30.602 24.971 -25.628 235.4% -58.907 136. 2009 Page 3 of 15 .3% -19.461 -957 -297.682 32.304 -12.1% -26.782 55.388 13.966 296.813 46.554 31.006 11.7% -16.216 24.112 8.319 13.094 42. % Chng 3.520 25.247 37.7% -14.659 -693 403.S.753 7.484 16.636 246.000 36.733 -277 -36.305 268.6% -49.627 76.278 -42.871 18.716 21.994 8.661 17.8% -14.6% -11.7% -21.250 8.391 17.315 279.370 -32.710 54.4% -13.7% -2.007 150.418 -10.8% -37.307 7.023 6.2% YTD 2009 276.353 157.7% -31.922 28. operations.799 15.632 6.718 46.479 Differ.740 56.684 53.043.8% -21.5% -32.637 118.876 -7.289 -89.0% 81.1% -32.207 2.5% -26.160 664.063 74.2% -16.4% -18.103 27.860 -78 81.721 8.043 26.624 -9.604 64.550 52.140 24.346 207.6% -37.424 -60.520 7.6% -37.881 22.9% -32.950 380 -28.9% -32.073 6.318 43.9% -7. Source: AAR Weekly Railroad Traffic Monthly Canadian Rail Carload Traffic* (% change in originations from same month previous year) 15% 10% 5% 0% -5% -10% -15% -20% -25% -30% *CN and CP.493 284.777 218.S.099 46.668 691.569 -2.619 162.652 60. Other Waste & Scrap Material All Other Carloads TOTAL ALL CARLOADS Trailers Containers TOTAL ALL INTERMODAL Apr 09 83. Crushed Stone.537 -3.6% 33. % Chng 1.9% -27.977 804.630 99.640 -15.7% -41.975 -16.4% -28.9% -14.4% -27.9% -0.660 57.6% -2.109 -66 42.846 *CN and CP.453 -1.324 9.922 -32. Sand Nonmetallic Minerals Stone.5% -22.1% -6.7% -2.010 -71.504 17.603 -5. Source: AAR Weekly Railroad Traffic Rail Time Indicators – May 19.168 -4.502 771.828 YTD 2008 273.204 195.554 167.047 -294 18.270 24.065 -4.350 193.563 23.1% -18.189 -5.414 33.7% -17.755 -4.894 28. including their U.S.342 -107.162 14.620 31.287 16.309 -112.6% -25. Clay & Glass Prod.230 5.705 10.299 -4.2% -24.426 -106.803 1.068 201.505 85. Gravel.247 -969 -72.760 1.507 3. including their U.464 3.5% -33.950 7.901 -21.0% -29.211 -6.397 -12.530 77.079 27.838 27.0% 6.974 -11.264 -2.804 -4.1% -26.514 99.665 10.185 9.080 -25.651 1.4% -21.4% -18.540 -11.749 18.511 50.418 Apr 08 Differ.240 60.827 34.770 -2.854 -41.295 196. operations.1% -37.936 10. Source: AAR Weekly Railroad Traffic Monthly Canadian Rail Intermodal Traffic (% change in originations from same month previous year) 15% 10% 5% 0% -5% -10% -15% -20% 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 -25% 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 -30% *CN and CP. including their U.323 -17.098 40.640 -4.339 3.9% -26.8% -26.Canadian Rail Traffic* Commodity Agricultural Products Grain Farm Products Excl.1% -47.926 5.398 10.3% -31.446 6.568 -44.241 10.517 10.568 -3.

S.S. Source: AAR Weekly Railroad Traffic Avg.000 140.S. Rail Carloads: Coal 155. Rail Carloads of Grain From Same Month Previous Year 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% -5% -10% -15% -20% -25% -30% 2006 2007 2008 2009 Data based on originations and reflect revisions from original reporting.000 22. operations of CN and CP. Excludes U. Excludes U. Excludes U.S. Source: AAR Weekly Railroad Traffic Rail Time Indicators – May 19. Excludes U.000 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Data are weekly average originations for each month and reflect revisions to original reporting.000 32. Source: AAR Weekly Railroad Traffic -10% -15% 2006 2007 2008 2009 Data based on originations and reflect revisions from original reporting.S.000 24. Rail Carloads of Coal From Same Month Previous Year 15% 10% 5% 0% -5% 150.000 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Data are weekly average originations for each month and reflect revisions from original reporting.000 2006 145. Rail Carloads of Chemicals From Same Month Previous Year 10% 5% 0% 2007 2006 -5% -10% 2009 2008 -15% -20% -25% 2006 2007 2008 2009 Data based on originations and reflect revisions from original reporting.000 31.U. Source: AAR Weekly Railroad Traffic Avg.000 2006 24.000 20.000 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Data are weekly average originations for each month and reflect revisions from original reporting.000 2007 % Change in U. 2009 Page 4 of 15 . Excludes U. Source: AAR Weekly Railroad Traffic % Change in U.000 30.000 25.000 130. operations of CN and CP. operations of CN and CP. Excludes U. Weekly U.000 28.S.S.S.S.S. Rail Carloads: Chemicals 33.S.000 29. Source: AAR Weekly Railroad Traffic 26.000 2008 18.S.000 120.000 27.000 2008 % Change in U. operations of CN and CP.000 26. Rail Carload Traffic — Select Commodities Avg.000 2009 2007 125.000 2009 16. Weekly U.000 22.000 135.000 23.S. operations of CN and CP. Weekly U. Rail Carloads: Grain 28. operations of CN and CP.

S.000 270. operations of CN and CP. Source: AAR Weekly Railroad Traffic 2009 Avg.000 300. Rail Carloads: Crushed Stone. Source: AAR Weekly Railroad Traffic Rail Time Indicators – May 19.000 10. Excludes U.000 210. and Gravel From Same Month Previous Year 15% 10% 5% 0% 2006 2007 -5% -10% 2008 2009 -15% -20% -25% -30% 2006 2007 2008 2009 Data based on originations and reflect revisions from original reporting.000 180.000 320.000 20. operations of CN and CP. Weekly U.000 20.000 16. Excludes U.000 12. operations of CN and CP.000 14.000 22. Excludes U.000 14.000 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec *Includes parts.000 170.000 280. Excludes U.S.000 2009 2008 190.000 6.S.000 10.000 290. Weekly U. Source: AAR Weekly Railroad Traffic Avg.000 230. Rail Intermodal Units 260.S.S.000 260.000 18. and Gravel 28.S. Data are weekly average originations for each month and reflect revisions from original reporting.000 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Data are weekly average originations for each month and reflect revisions from original reporting.000 250.000 2009 2008 2007 200. cont.S. Weekly U.000 220.000 22.S. Excludes U.S.S.S. Source: AAR Weekly Railroad Traffic 0% 2007 -10% -20% -30% 2008 -40% -50% -60% -70% 2006 2007 2008 2009 Data based on originations and reflect revisions from original reporting.000 330. Sand. Sand.000 24. 2009 Page 5 of 15 .000 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Data are weekly average originations for each month and reflect revisions from original reporting.000 350. Rail Carloads of Motor Vehicles and Parts From Same Month Previous Year 10% 2006 Avg.000 250.000 12. Weekly U.000 340.000 16.U.000 2006 2007 2006 240.000 8. operations of CN and CP. Source: AAR Weekly Railroad Traffic % Change in U.000 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Data are weekly average originations for each month and reflect revisions from original reporting. Source: AAR Weekly Railroad Traffic Avg. Excludes U.000 18.000 26. operations of CN and CP.000 8. Rail Carloads: Motor Vehicles* 26.000 24.000 310. operations of CN and CP.S. Rail Carload Traffic — Select Commodities. % Change in U. Rail Carloads: All Commodities 360. Rail Carloads of Crushed Stone.S.

2009 Page 6 of 15 . On a broad level.S.3%).S.1 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Sources: Bureau of Economic Analysis. before turning positive again in Q3 2009 (0. equipment and software..3 $8 1. Slow growth is expected to return by the third quarter. AAR U. In the most recent survey. GDP Growth: Q1 2003 – Q1 2010 8% 6% Actual • 4% 2% 0% -2% Forecast -4% -6% -8% 2003 2004 Estimates for Q2 2009 to Q1 2010 are the consensus forecast by some 50 leading economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal in early May 2009. 1. Bureau of Economic Analysis.S. There Is a Close Relationship Between Economic Growth and Freight Railroad Traffic $12 Real GDP (Trillions of $2000) What is it and why is it important? • GDP measures the size of the economy and how fast it’s growing — or shrinking. 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Q1 2009 is preliminary. It is the single most conclusive piece of information on the health of the economy. released May 14. nonresidential structures. Q4 2009 (1. The Wall Street Journal surveys approximately 50 leading economists. GDP would fall 1.9 Trillions of Revenue Ton-Miles RR Ton-Miles (right axis) $11 1. These forecasts were slightly more positive than the ones from April.1% in Q1 2009. Peak GDP Trough Recession Expansion • Time Rail Time Indicators – May 19. Revisions can be significant. . $9 1. decreased. GDP fell 6. and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by a positive contribution from personal consumption expenditures (PCE).” Each month. Imports. the consensus was that U.S. What the WSJ said: “On average. which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP.6%).S.7 • $10 Real GDP (left axis) 1. the 52 economists who participated in the survey project that the recession will end in August. economy is somewhere here.. Wall Street Journal • What Economies Do The U.GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP) Who releases it and when? • U. BEA emphasized that the Q1 2009 data released on April 29 are “advance” estimates that are based on incomplete source data that are subject to further revision. Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis. What the BEA said April 29: “The decrease in real GDP in the first quarter primarily reflected negative contributions from exports. GDP fell 6. GDP growth and freight rail traffic are closely related.4% in Q2 2009. and Q1 2001 (2. measured quarterly and updated frequently as better data become available.5 What are the latest numbers? • The BEA announced on April 29 that preliminary estimates show that U. private inventory investment.8%).3 percent in Q4 2008.

. there is still a large gap that must be closed before manufacturing begins to grow once again.” The consensus in May was that that the unemployment rate would hit 9. the PMI. After six consecutive months below the 40-percent mark. supplier deliveries. even as growth returns to the economy.April 2009 60% 58% 56% 54% 52% 50% 48% 46% 44% 42% 40% 38% 36% 34% 32% 30% Above 50% = mfg. 2009 Page 7 of 15 . up from 36. the PMI has now risen for four straight months (from a low of 32. It is considered a key indicator both of actual “on-the-ground” conditions as well as sentiment for what the near.7 percent greater in 2009 than in 2008. Click here for more on the May Wall Street Journal survey.” On May 5. by itself. Nearly half of the economists said it will take three to four years to close the output gap. and employment. However.with the economy expanding more than 2% in the first half of 2010.S. manufacturing would be the eighth largest economy in the world. The depth of the downturn means it will take years to eat up the slack created by the recession. . “While 15 percent of respondents predict revenues to be 13. including links to detailed data tables..7% by December 2009 (up from 8. Source: Institute for Supply Management percent. based on a survey of several hundred supply managers at manufacturers throughout the United States. Manufacturing accounts for approximately 12% of U. near the beginning of each month.9% in December). A PMI greater than 50% is thought to indicate that overall manufacturing is expanding. 2005 2006 2007 2008 '09 driven by the New Orders Index at 47. ISM released results of a member survey that forecast continued economic decline for the rest of 2009. but the United States is still the world’s top manufacturer. while more than a quarter say it will take five to six years. inventory. is expanding Below 50% = mfg. Purchasing Managers Index: January 2005 . U. GDP — not as much as it used to be. a PMI less than 50% is thought to indicate that manufacturing is contracting.2 percent decline. Where to go for more information: • The most recent BEA news release on GDP. What is it and why is it important? • The PMI is a compilation of data on new orders.1%. ISM wrote. In fact. Updated Q1 2009 GDP figures will be released on May 29.9% in April 2009 – see page 9). is here. an overall revenue decrease of 14. is contracting • • What are the latest numbers? • The PMI in April 2009 was 40. While this is a big step forward.S. and 18 percent expect no change. • Rail Time Indicators – May 19.to medium-term will hold. 2009.2 Data are seasonally adjusted. shows a significant improvement. • What the ISM said: “The decline in the manufacturing sector continues to moderate. production.7 percent is expected for manufacturing as 67 percent expect a 25.3 % in March and the 15th straight month that it was below 50% (the level at which manufacturing is considered to be growing). PURCHASING MANAGERS INDEX (PMI) Who releases it and when? • Institute for Supply Management (ISM – formerly the National Association of Purchasing Managers).

2009. Sector breakdowns are available. The next release is June 16. 2009 Page 8 of 15 . around the middle of each month. The next release of the PMI is June 1. 08 to Apr.” % Change in U. largely because of a return to service of facilities affected by earlier hurricanes). Source: U. What the Federal Reserve said: “Industrial production decreased 0.0 percent below its recent peak in December 2007.5% in April 2009 from March 2009. Federal Reserve Board. 09 to Apr.S.S. and electric utilities in the United States. The output of utilities moved up 0. Production in manufacturing declined 0. CAPACITY UTILIZATION Who releases it and when? • The U. Large changes in industrial output can mean that a business cycle has reached an inflection point.This represents a significant decline in expectations from December 2008 when the panel of supply management executives predicted a 1. Industrial Production: January 2005 . What is it and why is it important? • Industrial production figures are based on the monthly raw volume of goods produced by industrial firms such as factories.S. the output of mines fell 3. Federal Reserve Board.5 percent in April after having fallen 1. as oil and gas field drilling and support activities continued to drop. 09: -12. 09: -0.5% Apr. Federal Reserve Board • Mar.2 percent. Outside of manufacturing. Rail Time Indicators – May 19. • What are the latest numbers? • Industrial production fell 0. the lowest decline since October 2008 (when industrial production rose 1. around the middle of each month. INDEX OF INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION Who releases it and when? • The U.7 percent in March. The decreases in manufacturing in April remained broadly based across industries.April 2009 2% 1% 0% -1% -2% -3% -4% -5% 2005 2006 2007 2008 '09 Seasonally adjusted. The industrial sector generally exhibits the most volatility in terms of output during a business cycle. The most recent press release for the PMI is here.3%.” More on the ISM economic forecast is here. Where to go for more information: • The ISM home page is here.S. mines.5% Where to go for more information: • The most recent Federal Reserve release on industrial production is here.4 percent.3 percent in April and was 16.1 percent decrease in 2009 revenues compared to 2008. 2009.

NUMBER OF EMPLOYED PERSONS AND UNEMPLOYMENT RATE Who releases it and when? • U. 16 in mining. and. labor market. and 2) a “household survey” of 60. a capacity utilization rate of. down from 65.S. In practice.April 2009 85% Bars = Total Industry Red Line = Manufacturing • What are the latest numbers? • Capacity utilization for total industry (mining.4% in March 2007. Federal Reserve Board Where to go for more information: • The most recent Federal Reserve release on capacity utilization is here.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) near the beginning of each month. less prone to spend money (see “Consumer Confidence” and “Retail Sales” below). capacity utilization rates (at least on an economy-wide basis) never come close to 100%.) Anything less constitutes a weak job market. 2009. Capacity indexes are constructed for 87 detailed industries (69 in manufacturing.000 households.9%. though.e. What is it and why is it important? • The figures provide a snapshot of the strength of the U. but the lowest monthly job loss since October 2008. Utilization levels above 82-85% are considered "tight" and forecast price increases or supply shortages in the near future.000 or more jobs from one month to the next is generally considered solid job growth. • Rail Time Indicators – May 19. manufacturing. and assuming sufficient availability of inputs to operate the capital in place.000 jobs.4% in March 2009 and another record low (breaking the one set in March 2009) for a data series that began in 1967. normal downtime. The U. The next release is June 16. In theory. They are based on two separate surveys: 1) an “establishment survey” of more than 400. U.7% in April 2009. 2009 Page 9 of 15 .S.S. 70% means there is room to increase production up to a 100% level without having to build new plants or add equipment. therefore. Weak job numbers cause even the still-employed to become less confident of the future. and gas and electric utilities) was 69. 80% 75% • 70% 65% 60% 2005 2006 2007 2008 '09 Source: U. the highest level of output a plant can maintain using a realistic work schedule. and 2 in utilities). The farther below this level.000 in April 2009 from March 2009 — the sixth straight month in which the U. a gain of at least 150. economy has lost 500. the more slack there is in the economy.S.What is it and why is it important? • Capacity utilization captures the concept of sustainable maximum output — i. (Average monthly U.1% in February 2009.S.. say. In the United States. The unemployment rate has trended steadily upward since falling to 4. • • What are the latest numbers? • Net non-farm employment fell by 539. unemployment rate in April 2009 was 8. Capacity utilization for manufacturing was 65.000 businesses.S.1% in April 2009 — down from 69.5% in March 2009 and 8.000 or more jobs. job growth from September 2003 through December 2007 was 159. Capacity Utilization: January 2005 . up from 8.8% in March 2009 and also the lowest since this series began (in 1948).

5 million jobs 2006: +2.000 What is it and why is it important? • Report showing the average number of employees at mid-month in six job classification groups (executive.S. with losses concentrated in truck transportation (-16.S.000 158.7 million jobs 5. Seasonally adjusted. In the 16 months from January 2008 through April 2009.0% 4. the U.000 152. not seasonally-adjusted. The next release is June 5. . 2009.1 million jobs 2007: +1..000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Data are 3-month moving averages.000 160. up from 8. job losses continued in most major private-sector industries.March 2009 170. Source: U.9% in April 2009.5% 8.5% 5.000 166.S..” Where to go for more information: • The BLS home page is here. Source: STB Where to go for more information: • The STB web site for employment data is here. The press release on the employment situation in April 2009 is here. Bureau of Labor Statistics • • Employment has fallen each month since January 2008. 156. Bureau of Labor Statistics *Civilian labor force.5% 4.037 from February 2009 and the lowest level since March 2004.S. 2009 Page 10 of 15 . .960 in March 2009.April 2009 (000s) 400 300 200 100 0 -100 -200 -300 -400 -500 -600 -700 -800 U.0% 2005 2006 2007 2008 '09 2005 2006 2007 2008 '09 *Change from previous month.0% 8.0% 3.000) and warehousing and storage (-8.000 150. Unemployment Rate: Jan.Employment in transportation and warehousing declined by 38.000 in April. What are the latest numbers? • Class I railroad employment fell to 154.S. What the BLS said: “In April. 2005: +2. . equipment and transportation/train and engine and transportation/other than train and engine) for Class I railroads.5% 3. Construction employment declined by 110. economy has lost 5..0% 6. Source: U.000).0% 7.000 164. 2005 .2 million jobs 2008: -3.7 million net jobs.5% 7.000 over the month.000 168. 2001 .000 in April.. around the middle of the month.000 162.5% in March 2009 and up from 5.5% 6. down 2. Non-Farm Employment* January 2005 .1 million jobs Jan-Apr 09: -2. unemployment rate rose to 8. Class I Railroad Employment: Jan. Rail Time Indicators – May 19. seasonally adjusted.0% The U.0% in April 2008.Change in U. CLASS I RAILROAD EMPLOYMENT Who releases it and when? • Surface Transportation Board (STB).. maintenance-of-way. professional.April 2009* 9. Employment rose in the federal government mainly due to hiring of temporary workers for Census 2010.S..000 154. Employment in manufacturing fell by 149.

however.000 retailers of all types to track the dollar value of physical merchandise sold. on the theory that consumers who are confident about their job prospects. an increase in spending today may reflect the results of an economy that began to recover a few months earlier. driven primarily by a significant improvement in the short-term outlook. • Rail Time Indicators – May 19. Respondents are asked about current conditions and their expectations for the next six months. 2009. around the ninth business day of each month.S. in the second quarter. 2009 Page 11 of 15 .S. last Tuesday of the month.3. etc. It often takes time for consumers to recover from and respond to economic events. Thus. income. the health of the economy is largely dependent on how much “stuff” people are buying. What is it and why is it important? • Uses a monthly survey of 5. GDP.000 U.April 2009 (Index 1985 = 100) 120 110 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 2005 2006 2007 Source: Conference Board • What the Conference Board says: “Consumer Confidence rose in April to its highest reading in 2009. • What are the latest numbers? • The consumer confidence index rose considerably in April 2009 to 39. while a decrease in spending today may confirm an ongoing or worsening recession.2 from 26. The index is down more than Index of Consumer Confidence: 60% since mid-2007. are more likely to make purchases (especially big-ticket purchases) than pessimistic consumers. but are subject to sometimes-large revisions and are not adjusted for inflation.INDEX OF CONSUMER CONFIDENCE Who releases it and when? • The Conference Board. a sign that conditions have not deteriorated further. The Present Situation Index posted a moderate gain.S. Thus. The sharp increase in the Expectations Index suggests that consumers believe the economy is nearing a bottom. this Index still remains well below levels associated with strong economic growth. and may even moderately improve. Census Bureau. RETAIL SALES Who releases it and when? • The U. The next release is May 26.9 in March and February’s all-time record low of 25. What is it and why is it important? • An index based on a monthly survey of 5." 2008 '09 Where to go for more information: • The press release for April 2009 is here. and confidence of the average consumer. households designed to gauge the financial health. The index is used mainly to predict future consumer spending. spending power. The data are adjusted for holiday differences and seasonal variations. Personal consumption accounts for approximately 70% of U. January 2005 .

4% from March 2009.1% 2007: +3. SUVs.April 2009 (Seasonally-Adjusted Annualized Rate in Millions) 22 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 Employee-price sales promotions (Index Jan. sales of cars and light trucks.S. spending on motor vehicles has accounted.S. Source: BEA *Passenger cars. The next release is June 11. Source: AAR. GDP. This is down 34% from April 2008. and pickups. Over the past 50 years. Seasonally-adjusted.7% of U. 09: -34% Auto sales RR carloads of autos and auto parts 2005 2006 2007 2008 '09 2005 2006 2007 2008 '09 Data include passenger cars.S.S. 2005 . BEA Where to go for more information: • BEA data on auto sales are here. Light Vehicle Sales* vs. Railroad carloads are unadjusted. Rail Carloads of Autos and Auto Parts 130 120 110 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 U. Source: U. Bureau of Economic Analysis. but actual retail sales declined instead. Census Bureau LIGHT VEHICLE SALES Who releases it and when? • The U. on average.3 million. minivans. U. 7% of Class I rail revenue came from hauling autos and auto parts. $390 $380 $370 $360 $350 $340 $330 $320 $310 $300 Retail Sales: January 2005 . down 10. What is it and why is it important? • • U. 09 to Apr.1% from April 2008. SUVs.7% 2006: +5. 09: -4% Apr. Rail carloads of autos and auto parts are closely correlated with light vehicle sales. Vehicle sales are based on seasonally-adjusted annualized selling rate.6% • Where to go for more information: • 2005 2006 2007 2008 '09 The most recent Census Bureau press release is here. Rail Time Indicators – May 19. 2005 = 100) Mar. 2009 Page 12 of 15 . including pickups and SUVs.S. Light Vehicle Sales: Jan. March and April’s decline followed increases in January and February.What are the latest numbers? • Total retail sales in April 2009 were down 0. 08 to Apr. In 2007.3% 2008: -10.S.April 2009 ($ billions) 2005: +4.S. for about 3. April marked the second straight month in which the consensus among economists called for a slight increase in retail sales. 2009. What are the latest numbers? • • U. light vehicle sales in April 2009 were down 5% from March 2009 to a seasonally-adjusted annualized selling rate (SAAR) of 9. and pickups. minivans.S. U. Seasonally adjusted.

3 2. Carloads are originations of lumber. Source: AAR Weekly Railroad Traffic. 09: -13% Apr.S. What is it and why is it important? • The CPI is the benchmark inflation guide for the U. Housing Starts: January 2005 . when they were 2. wood products.0 0. Rail Time Indicators – May 19. • What are the latest numbers? • • • Seasonally-adjusted housing starts in April 2009 were down 13% to 458. Where to go for more information: • The most recent Census Bureau press release is here.5 0.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). CONSUMER PRICE INDEX (CPI) Who releases it and when? • U.000 retail and service establishments. housing starts (not seasonally adjusted) fell 71%. while U. Housing Starts vs. since people buying new homes tend to spend on other goods such as furniture. Wood & Forest Products (Index Jan.S.S.8 0.HOUSING STARTS Who releases it and when? • Census Bureau. mid-month. measuring the changes in the cost of a representative basket of consumer goods and services. Housing starts are a “leading indicator” — construction growth usually picks up at the beginning of a business cycle.3 0. U. U. 09: -54% U. What is it and why is it important? • • A housing start is beginning the foundation of a residential home.0 2005 2006 2007 2008 '09 Source: U. Rail Carloads of Lumber.S.April 2009 (Seasonally-Adjusted Annualized Rate. Prices are collected in 87 urban areas throughout the country and from about 23. Rail carloads of lumber.3 1. lawn and garden supplies. Census Bureau 125 100 75 50 25 0 Housing starts Rail carloads 2005 2006 2007 2008 '09 Not seasonally adjusted. Excludes U.8 1. Housing directly accounts for around 5% of the overall economy and has large spillover effects on other sectors. economy. and primary forest products.5 1.000 on an annualized basis. 09 to Apr. and appliances. 2005 = 100) 150 Mar.S. 08 to Apr. 2009 Page 13 of 15 . and forest products closely track housing starts. Millions) 2. such as retail sales and manufacturing.0 1. around the middle of each month. wood.3 million. the lowest level since recordkeeping began in 1959.S. operations of CN and CP.5 2.S. rail carloads of lumber and wood fell 58% (see chart below right). From January 2005 to April 2009. 2009. April 2009’s housing starts were down 54% from April 2008 and down 80% from the most recent peak in January 2006. The next release is June 16.

4% 2006: +2. 2009: -0. although BLS publishes hundreds of CPI indexes each month.6%. CPI-U was virtually flat on a seasonally-adjusted basis compared with March 2009. 2009 Page 14 of 15 .7%.4 percent after declining 3.9%. Much of the year-over-year decline was due to lower energy costs. crop shortages.2% in 2007.. and food stamps. the CPI is the basis for cost-of-living adjustments for things like Social Security. Rail Time Indicators – May 19.1% Mar 2009 to Apr.2 percent in April.5%. The energy index *Urban consumers. 2. CPI-U rose 3.5%. U. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics declined for the second straight month. wage supplements rose 0. Food and energy prices are typically more volatile than other prices due to their susceptibility to external shocks (e.1% in 2008 — the first year-over-year decline since 1955. OPEC actions. 7. seasonally adjusted. federal retirement payments. wage Supplements Supplies supplements (i.7% 0.). quarterly. fuel oil.S. 2005 = 100) 116 114 112 110 108 106 104 102 CPI less energy and food 2005: +3. pensions.” Where to go for more information: • The most recent BLS press release on the CPI is here. and 4. Where to go for more information: • See the AAR web site here or contact Clyde Crimmel at 202-639-2309.6% 15. railroad Wage Rates Wage Fuel Materials & wage prices rose 7.2% 4.2% 2008: -0. 2009.e. The indexes for motor fuel. RAILROAD COST INDEXES Who releases it and when? • The Association of American Railroads (AAR).. railroad wage prices rose 0.0% -33. Next quarterly release is near the end of June 2009. falling 2.6% on year-over-year basis.4% in 2005. natural gas.. The food index declined as well.0% • What are the latest numbers? • In April 2009.g.0%. The next release is June 17. fuel fell 33.5% in 2006.April 2009 (Index Jan.2%.Q4 2008 (Index Q1 2003 = 100) Q4 07Q4 08 Wages rates Wage supplements Fuel Material & supplies Q3 08Q4 08 What is it and why is it important? • It details changes in the price level of inputs to freight railroad operations. falling 0. 450 400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 Railroad Chargeout* Prices: Q1 2003 .5% 10. From Q3 2008 to Q4 2008.5% 2007: +4. city average. Consumer Price Index*: January 2005 . and electricity all declined in April. fuel rose 7. CPI all items • What BLS said: “On a seasonally 100 adjusted basis. Among other uses. but down 0.. Source: AAR Railroad Cost Indexes 4.. the CPI-U was 98 unchanged in April after declining 0. and the price of materials and supplies in aggregate rose 15.1 2008 '09 2005 2006 2007 percent in March. fringe benefits) rose *Chargeout prices and wage rates are the prices of expensed items at the time they are actually consumed and charged to the expense accounts. The “core” CPI — defined as CPI less food and energy — is also commonly used. and the price of materials and supplies in aggregate rose 10.2% 7.• The “CPI for All Urban Consumers” (CPI-U) is the inflation index most often reported by the media.2%. etc.9% 0.5% What are the latest numbers? • 0 From Q4 2007 to Q4 2008.0 percent in March. but fell 0.

exports become *Weighted average of the foreign exchange value of the U. economy by analyzing the coverage of 15 major daily newspapers in the U. imports become relatively cheaper and U. dollar has been strengthening since mid-2008. Dollar Exchange Rate*: Jan.5% Apr. 09 to Apr. Source: Federal Reserve Board relatively less expensive abroad.S.S. trading partners. However. 09: -2.S.S.April 2009 (Index Jan. What are the latest numbers? • The U.U. Rail Time Indicators – May 19.S. “historical analysis of the series shows that the ESI clearly highlighted the risk that the U. exports become more expensive.S. The next release is May 29. 2009. it was 15% higher than its recent low in July 2008. As of April. dollar means that U. DOW JONES ECONOMIC SENTIMENT INDICATOR (ESI) Who releases it and when? • Dow Jones. dollar against the currencies of a broad group of major U. 2005 . on the last business day of the month. imports and more U. It uses a numerical scale from 0 to 100 to express the balance of sentiment in articles about the economy. a stronger dollar means U. Where to go for more information: • Information from the Federal Reserve on exchange rates is here. According to Dow Jones. the ESI “aims to predict the health of the U. economy was sliding into recession in 2001 and 2008 and suggests the indicator can help predict economic turning points as much as seven months in advance of other indicators.S. it weakened 2. trading partners. 2009. imports become relatively more 2007 2005 2006 '09 2008 expensive and U. 2005 = 100) 104 102 100 98 96 94 92 90 88 86 84 82 80 Mar.S.” Source: Dow Jones • According to Dow Jones. that means fewer U. 2009 Page 15 of 15 .” What are the latest numbers? • The ESI for April was 27. Where to go for more information: • Information on the Dow Jones ESI is here. exports. continuing a several-month upward trend. 09: +14.S. DOLLAR EXCHANGE RATE Who releases it and when? • The Federal Reserve Board. daily.S.6. U. ↑ = dollar is getting stronger ↓ = dollar is getting weaker • A weaker U.9% What is it and why is it important? • An index comprised of a weighted average of the value of the U.S.S. All else equal. 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 Apr May Jun 08 08 08 Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr 08 08 08 08 08 08 09 09 09 09 Dow Jones Economic Sentiment Indicator: April 2008 .S. 08 to Apr.S.S. dollar against the currencies of a group of major U. Conversely.5% from March 2009 to April 2009.April 2009 (Maximum = 100) What is it and why is it important? • It’s a new indicator — it was first unveiled on April 30.S.S.

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