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Economy Will Continue to Improve: CSX Chairman

The U.S. economy will continue to recover gradually, and doesn't appear headed for a slowdown, Michael Ward, chairman of CSX, told CNBC Tuesday.

"I know some of those concerns are out there, but from what we see with our customer base and the markets we serve, we don’t see that," said Ward, who is also president and chief executive officer of the transportation company.

"We see continued strength and growth here," Ward said. "We expect to have a very good year in 2010."

CSX on Monday reported profits rose 36 percent in the second quarter, above expectations. The company also reported improved volume across most of the markets the company serves in rail and intermodal transportation.

Volumes in the second quarter were up 13 percent from the same period last year, recovering about half of what had been lost the previous year, a low point for the company, Ward said. Volumes in the second quarter of 2009 were off 21 percent from the year earlier, he said.

Ward told CNBC that CSX hasn't seen a rebound in housing yet, but it has benefited from a bounce in the auto industry and in the industries that support auto production, such as chemicals and metals.

"Our expectation for the third quarter may be similar year-over-year performance in volumes," Ward said.