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The Association of American Railroads (AAR) latest U.S. rail traffic data shows the key economic indicator continued to contract as 2022 neared an end. In the year's 50th week ending Dec. 17, U.S. roads handled 226,977 carloads, down 3.2%, and 249,255 intermodal units, down 7.5% compared with volumes in the same week last year. The railroad's total weekly traffic slipped 5.5% to 476,232 units. Only three of the 10 carload commodity groups tracked by the AAR posted year-over-year gains: motor vehicles and parts, up 2,783 carloads; farm products excluding grain and food, up 603 carloads; and petroleum and petroleum products, up 181 carloads. The commodity groups that posted declines included coal, chemicals and miscellaneous carloads.For the week ending Dec. 17, Canadian railroads reported 81,774 carloads, up 7.2%, and 64,345 intermodal units, down 2.2% year over year. Mexican railroads registered 22,035 carloads, up 13.6%, and 15,512 intermodal units, up 10.5%.Through 2022's first 50 weeks, 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads handled 33,849,073 carloads and intermodal units, a 1.8% decrease compared with volume in the same 2021 period. For just the week ending Dec. 17, those roads registered 330,786 carloads, up 0.2%, and 329,112 intermodal units, down 5.7%.