Recent data from the American Association of Railroads on United States and Canadian Railroad Traffic shows gains in April measured on a year-on-year basis. United States April rail carloads were up 15.8 percent from April 2009 and Canadian April rail carloads were up 26.7 percent from April 2009. While the carload levels are still nowhere near the pre-recession levels, this rate of maintained year-on-year growth would imply near-normal carload levels by fall season this year.
Recent Los Angeles and Long Beach Port data, (through March), show that quarter one 2010 container traffic, (inbound plus outbound), is up 14.6 percent over a year ago. February and March both experienced double-digit growth rates.
This data corroborates with California Export data which has also shown recent strength. Trade and related shipping activities do not constitute a large share of the economy, but they continue to experience significant improvements, are typically associated with manufacturing activity which has a large multiplier, and will contribute to economic growth at least in a small way.