OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The slowing economy and ongoing trade disputes are dragging railroad profits down in the second half of the year.
Two railroads, Union Pacific and CSX, have reported declining profit and revenue this week as they hauled less grain, imported goods and other products.
Union Pacific’s freight volume slid 8% in the quarter.
Kansas City Southern reports quarterly results Friday and Norfolk Southern reports next week.
“It feels to me like the industrial economy is weakening. I don’t think it’s negative just yet,” Union Pacific CEO Lance Fritz said.
That weakening is playing out across the industry with deteriorating shipping volumes implying a pullback by U.S. companies.
The Association of American Railroads reported this Wednesday that in the first 41 weeks of this year, overall freight volume has declined 4%.
North American rail volume last week that includes 12 U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads, fell 7.6%.
In its most recent quarter, Union Pacific fell seven cents short of what industry analysts had expected, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.