Afternoon Coffee: Coal Production Falls to Near 30-Year Low, Impacts US Rail Traffic

Coal production in 2015 hit its lowest level in nearly 30 years. About 900 million short tons were produced last year, down from the 1 billion short tons produced in 2014.

U.S. rail traffic fell 2.5% in 2015 and analysts are predicting a 1.6% decline in 2016. The decline in coal shipments is playing a part in the lack of rail traffic, with coal volumes slipping to 5.1 million carloads last year.

Mazda announced it will recall an additional 364,000 vehicles in the U.S. due to the defective Takata airbags. Honda and Subaru have also expanded on car recalls due to the air bags, which are now linked to more than 100 injuries and nine deaths.

Holiday season shopping on smartphones and tablets rose 59% in 2015 to reach $12.65 billion, a new report from comScore showed. Total online spending in November and December was up 13% to $69.08 billion.


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