Rail Shipments Show Growth Trend

Rise in freight volumes points to gains in industrial production.

Railroad shipments are the highest in almost three years, helping to defy concerns about a double-dip recession.

Total rail volumes excluding grain and coal averaged 381,831 carloads in August, the most since October 2008, according to data from the Association of American Railroads in Washington. These shipments represent the bulk of materials for industrial production, so rising volumes show the economy is still growing, according to Art Hatfield, a transportation analyst in Memphis, Tennessee, at Morgan Keegan & Co.

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