You are here

September Transportation Services Index (TSI) Rises 0.5 Percent from August

September Transportation Services Index (TSI) Rises 0.5 Percent from August

BTS 32-04
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Monday, December 6, 2004 - The Transportation Services Index (TSI) rose 0.5 percent in September from its August level of 124.5, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported today.

The TSI, which combines freight and passenger indexes, rose in September to 125.1 (1996=100) after a one-month fall in August to 124.5. The September 2004 level of 125.1 is 6.6 percent higher than the September 2003 level of 117.4.

TSI is a single seasonally adjusted index of the month-to-month changes in the output of services provided by the for-hire transportation industries, including railroad, air, truck, inland waterways, pipeline, and local transit.

The index includes historic data from 1990 to the present, allowing for examination of trends, peaks and low-points. Changes are measured against the monthly average for the base year of 1996. The TSI is still under development and is considered experimental. The next release is scheduled for Jan. 6.

The Transportation Services Index for Freight

The TSI for freight increased 0.5 percent to 126.2 in September from the August level of 125.6, following a one-month decline in August. The September 2004 level of 126.2 is 6.4 percent higher than the September 2003 level of 118.7.

Transportation Services Index for Passengers

The TSI for passengers increased 0.4 percent to 122.8 in September from the August level of 122.3, following two months of declines. The September 2004 level of 122.8 is 7.1 percent higher than the September 2003 level of 114.7.

More on TSI

During the six months ending in September, the TSI rose 1.1 percent. The Freight TSI rose 0.8 percent and the Passenger TSI rose 1.9 percent during the six-month period.

Note: TSI numbers for June (Total, Freight, and Passenger) were revised because of revisions in the output data of the component transportation services. The June TSI is 125.5, revised from the 125.0 reported in the November release. The June Freight TSI is 126.6, unchanged from the November release. The June Passenger TSI is 123.4, revised from the 121.7 reported in the November release. The TSI for July, August and September are preliminary.

TSI revision policy: TSI is updated monthly with the latest three months' index numbers considered preliminary. Each month BTS releases the latest preliminary TSI, and replaces the oldest preliminary TSI with a revised TSI.

BTS updates the preliminary TSI from three months earlier in its monthly release of the TSI. The most recent month and the two previous months will remain preliminary. All other revisions are held until an annual comprehensive revision of the TSI which will be released as part of the following June TSI release. More information about the revision policy is available at http://www.bts.gov/xml/tsi/src/index.xml.

Table 1: Percent changes in the Transportation Services Index by Month Since March 2004 (Seasonally Adjusted)

Excel | CSV

  TSI Freight Passenger
Index Pct. Change Index Pct. Change Index Pct. Change
March 123.7 0.7 125.2 1.0 120.6 -0.2
April 125.4 1.4 127.1 1.5 121.8 1.0
May 125.1 -0.2 126.7 -0.3 121.6 -0.2
JuneR 125.5 0.4 126.6 -0.1 123.4 1.5
JulyP 125.5 0.0 126.9 0.3 122.7 -0.6
AugustP 124.5 -0.8 125.6 -1.0 122.3 -0.4
SeptemberP 125.1 0.5 126.2 0.5 122.8 0.4

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary; R = revised

Table 2: Percent changes in the Transportation Services Index from Year-to-Year September TSI (Monthly average of 1996 = 100)

Excel | CSV

  TSI Percent change from previous year
1996 100.3 0.6
1997 109.0 8.7
1998 111.5 2.3
1999 117.5 5.3
2000 115.6 -1.6
2001 106.7 -7.7
2002 115.4 8.2
2003 117.4 1.7
2004P 125.1 6.6

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary

Table 3: Percent Changes in the Transportation Services Index from Previous Years to 2004 September to September

Excel | CSV

Percent change to September 2004 Since September . . . Duration
6.6 2003 One Year
8.4 2002 Two Years
17.3 2001 Three Years
8.2 2000 Four Years
6.4 1999 Five Years
12.1 1998 Six Years
14.7 1997 Seven Years
24.7 1996 Eight Years

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Table 4: Percent changes in the Freight Transportation Services Index from Year-to-YearSeptember Freight TSI (Monthly average of 1996 = 100)

Excel | CSV

  Freight TSI Percent change from previous year
1996 100.2 -1.4
1997 110.1 9.8
1998 113.9 3.5
1999 118.8 4.2
2000 113.3 -4.6
2001 111.9 -1.2
2002 117.3 4.8
2003 118.7 1.2
2004P 126.2 6.4

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary

Table 5: Percent changes in the Passenger Transportation Services Index from Year-to-YearSeptember Passenger TSI (Monthly average of 1996 = 100)

Excel | CSV

  Passenger TSI Percent change from previous year
1996 100.5 5.3
1997 106.9 6.3
1998 106.5 -0.3
1999 114.9 7.9
2000 121.5 5.7
2001 94.6 -22.1
2002 111.3 17.7
2003 114.7 3.1
2004P 122.8 7.1

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary

Brief Explanation of the TSI

The Transportation Services Index (TSI) is a measure of the month-to-month changes in the output of services provided by the for-hire transportation industries.

The TSI tells us how the output of transportation services has increased or decreased from month to month. The index can be examined together with other economic indicators to produce a better understanding of the current and future course of the economy. The movement of the index over time can be compared with other economic measures to understand the relationship of changes in transportation output to changes in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The TSI is still under development and is therefore considered experimental. It is being examined for refinements in data sources, methodologies and interpretations.

The freight transportation index consists of:

For hire trucking,
Railroad freight services (including rail based intermodal shipments such as containers on flat cars),
Inland waterways transportation,
Pipeline transportation (including principally petroleum and petroleum products and natural gas), and
Air freight.

The index does not include international or coastal waterborne movements, private trucking, courier services, or the US Postal Service.

The passenger transportation index consists of:

Local transit,
Intercity passenger rail, and
Passenger air transportation.

The index does not include intercity bus, sight seeing services, ferry services, taxi service, private automobile usage, or bicycling and other non-motorized transportation.