October?s Economy explained by Rail Indicators
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported that freight rail carloadings were down 15.3 percent in October 2009 (at 1,100,714 carloads) compared with the same month last year, marking the twelfth straight month of double-digit declines. A decrease in coal carloads (down 92,764 carloads) factored into October's drop in carloadings, which likely was the result of a cooler-than-normal summer that has led to larger-than-normal utility coal stockpiles. However, grain saw a significant boost in October, up 15 percent compared with September. This may be attributable to the start of corn and soybean harvests plus a weaker U.S. dollar lifting grain exports. According to the USDA, grain deliveries by rail to ports surged in October.