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Transportation Services Index (TSI) Rose 1.3 Percent in October from September

Transportation Services Index (TSI) Rose 1.3 Percent in October from September

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BTS 02-05
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Thursday, January 6, 2005 - The Transportation Services Index (TSI) rose 1.3 percent in October to 126.7 (1996=100) for the second consecutive monthly rise, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported today (Table 1).

The October level of 126.7 for the combined freight and passenger index was 6.6 percent higher than the October 2003 level of 118.9 (Table 2). The October 2004 level was 24.7 percent higher than October of the base year of 1996 (Table 3).

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.

Changes are measured against the monthly average for the base year of 1996. The index includes historic data from 1990 to the present. The TSI is still under development and is considered experimental. The next release is scheduled for Feb. 7.

Transportation Services Index for Freight

The TSI for freight rose 1.1 percent to 127.6 in October from the September level of 126.2 for the second consecutive monthly rise (Table 1). The October 2004 level of 127.6 is 5.9 percent higher than the October 2003 level of 120.5 (Table 4).

Transportation Services Index for Passengers

The TSI for passengers rose 1.9 percent to 125.2 in October from the September level of 122.8 for the second consecutive monthly rise (Table 1). The October 2004 level of 125.2 is 8.4 percent higher than the October 2003 level of 115.4 (Table 5).

During the six months ending in October, 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 July (Total, Freight, and Passenger) were revised because of revisions in the output data of the component transportation services. The July TSI is 126.0, revised from the 125.5 reported in the December release. The July Freight TSI is 127.2, revised from the 126.9 reported in the December release. The July Passenger TSI is 123.9, revised from the 122.7 reported in the December release. The TSI for September, October and November 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 April 2004 (Seasonally Adjusted)

Excel | CSV

  TSI Freight Passenger
Index Pct. Change Index Pct. Change Index Pct. Change
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
June 125.5 0.4 126.6 -0.1 123.4 1.5
JulyR 126.0 0.4 127.2 0.5 123.9 0.4
AugustP 124.5 -1.2 125.6 -1.2 122.3 -1.3
SeptemberP 125.1 0.5 126.2 0.5 122.8 0.4
OctoberP 126.7 1.3 127.6 1.1 125.2 1.9

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Note: P = preliminary; R = revised

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

Excel | CSV

  TSI Percent change from previous year
1996 101.6 4.1
1997 108.9 7.2
1998 113.5 4.3
1999 118.8 4.6
2000 115.1 -3.1
2001 108.5 -5.8
2002 116.0 6.9
2003 118.9 2.5
2004P 126.7 6.6

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Note: P = preliminary

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

Excel | CSV

Percent change to October 2004 Since October . . . Duration
6.6 2003 One Year
9.3 2002 Two Years
16.8 2001 Three Years
10.1 2000 Four Years
6.7 1999 Five Years
11.6 1998 Six Years
16.4 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-Year October Freight TSI (Monthly average of 1996 = 100)

Excel | CSV

  Freight TSI Percent change from previous year
1996 101.9 3.5
1997 110.7 8.7
1998 115.4 4.2
1999 119.6 3.7
2000 113.1 -5.4
2001 112.7 -0.4
2002 117.8 4.6
2003 120.5 2.3
2004P 127.6 5.9

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Note: P = preliminary

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

Excel | CSV

  Passenger TSI Percent change from previous year
1996 100.9 5.6
1997 105.1 4.1
1998 109.7 4.4
1999 117.2 6.9
2000 120.4 2.7
2001 99.0 -17.8
2002 112.1 13.3
2003 115.4 2.9
2004P 125.2 8.4

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.