Rail Shipments: On Track And Picking Up Steam

If the U.S. economy is indeed slowing significantly, that slowdown hasn't yet shown up in one sensitive economic indicator: shipments of goods by rail. Merrill Lynch & Co. transportation analyst Doug Rockel reports that railroad carloadings have accelerated sharply in recent months--running 11% over year-earlier levels in July and 14% in August. The strongest shipment category is metals and products, suggesting that America's capital-spending boom and export growth efforts remain in high gear.

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