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Transportation Services Index (TSI) Fell 0.2 Percent in December from November

Transportation Services Index (TSI) Fell 0.2 Percent in December from November

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BTS 10-05
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Monday, March 7, 2005 - The Transportation Services Index (TSI) fell 0.2 percent in December to 127.3 (1996=100) for the first decline after three consecutive monthly increases, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today (Table 1).

BTS, a part of DOT's Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the December level of 127.3 for the combined freight and passenger index was 5.1 percent higher than the December 2003 level of 121.2 (Table 2). The December 2004 level was 24.9 percent higher than the December level 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.

The index includes historic data from 1990 to the present. The TSI is still under development and is considered experimental. The index measures change from the monthly average for the base year of 1996. The next release is scheduled for April 6.

Transportation Services Index for Freight

The TSI for freight fell 0.4 percent to 128.4 in December from the November level of 128.9 for the first decline after three consecutive monthly increases (Table 1). The December 2004 level of 128.4 is 4.5 percent higher than the December 2003 level of 122.9 (Table 4).

Transportation Services Index for Passengers

The TSI for passengers rose 0.1 percent to 125.3 in December from the November level of 125.1 (Table 1). The passenger index fell slightly in November after five consecutive monthly increases. The December 2004 level of 125.3 is 6.6 percent higher than the December 2003 level of 117.6 (Table 5).

More on TSI

During the six months ending in December, the TSI rose 1.4 percent, the Freight TSI rose 1.4 percent and the Passenger TSI rose 1.5 percent.

Note: TSI numbers for September (Total, Freight, and Passenger) were revised because of revisions in the output data of the component transportation services. The September TSI is 126.0, revised from the 125.1 reported in the February release. The September Freight TSI is 126.9, revised from the 126.2 reported in the February release. The September Passenger TSI is 124.3, revised from the 122.8 reported in the February release. The TSI for October, November and December 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. 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 June 2004 (Seasonally Adjusted)

Excel | CSV

  TSI Freight Passenger
Index Pct. Change Index Pct. Change Index Pct. Change
June 125.5 0.4 126.6 -0.1 123.4 1.5
July 126.0 0.4 127.2 0.5 123.9 0.4
August 125.5 -0.4 126.4 -0.6 124.0 0.1
SeptemberR 126.0 0.4 126.9 0.4 124.3 0.3
OctoberP 126.7 0.6 127.6 0.6 125.2 0.7
NovemberP 127.6 0.7 128.9 1.0 125.1 0.0
DecemberP 127.3 -0.2 128.4 -0.4 125.3 0.1

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Note: P = preliminary; R = revised

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

Excel | CSV

  TSI Percent change from previous year
1996 101.9 4.0
1997 109.7 7.7
1998 113.1 3.0
1999 118.0 4.4
2000 113.7 -3.6
2001 109.9 -3.4
2002 117.8 7.2
2003 121.2 2.9
2004P 127.3 5.1

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Note: P = preliminary

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

Excel | CSV

Percent change to December 2004 Since December . . . Duration
5.1 2003 One Year
8.1 2002 Two Years
15.9 2001 Three Years
11.9 2000 Four Years
7.9 1999 Five Years
12.6 1998 Six Years
16.0 1997 Seven Years
24.9 1996 Eight Years

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

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

Excel | CSV

  Freight TSI Percent change from previous year
1996 101.8 3.4
1997 111.4 9.5
1998 114.7 3.0
1999 120.6 5.1
2000 111.9 -7.2
2001 111.1 -0.7
2002 119.2 7.3
2003 122.9 3.1
2004P 128.4 4.5

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Note: P = preliminary

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

Excel | CSV

  Passenger TSI Percent change from previous year
1996 102.2 5.4
1997 106.1 3.8
1998 109.6 3.3
1999 112.6 2.8
2000 118.7 5.4
2001 107.7 -9.3
2002 115.0 6.9
2003 117.6 2.2
2004P 125.3 6.6

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.