FTR Associates, which specializes in transportation forecasting, says the deteriorating economy has caused the firm to sharply reduce its expectations for railcar orders in 2009.
In an interim revised rail equipment forecast that supplements its North American Railroad Equipment & Deliveries Outlook, the company says that the expected fall-off in freight over the next year will push the equipment market into a further decline. Q3 2008 orders came in at an annual rate of 30,800 units and orders are expected to fall further over the next several quarters. FTR expects deliveries for 2009 not to exceed 29,000 units.
"Without freight to haul, demand for transportation equipment has already begun to wane; we are forecasting a severe downturn in 2009," says Eric Starks, FTR president.
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