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Transportation Services Index (TSI) Rose 0.8 Percent in May from April

Transportation Services Index (TSI) Rose 0.8 Percent in May from April

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BTS 35-05
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Monday, August 8, 2005 - The Transportation Services Index (TSI) rose 0.8 percent in May to 112.6 (2000=100) from the April level of 111.7, the third consecutive monthly increase, 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 May level of 112.6 for the combined freight and passenger index was 4.0 percent higher than the May 2004 level of 108.3 (Table 2). The May 2005 level was 12.9 percent higher than the May level of the base year of 2000 (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 changes from the monthly average of the base year of 2000. The next release is scheduled for Sept. 6.

Transportation Services Index for Freight

The TSI for freight rose 0.5 percent to 113.1 in May from the April level of 112.6, the third consecutive monthly increase (Table 1). The May 2005 level of 113.1 is 2.4 percent higher than the May 2004 level of 110.5 (Table 4).

Transportation Services Index for Passengers

The TSI for passengers rose 1.8 percent to 111.2 in May from the April level of 109.3, the third consecutive monthly increase (Table 1). The May 2005 level of 111.2 is 8.2 percent higher than the May 2004 level of 102.8 and 20.0 percent higher than the May 2003 level of 92.6 (Table 5).

More on TSI

During the six months ending in May, the TSI rose 2.1 percent, the Freight TSI rose 1.3 percent and the Passenger TSI rose 3.9 percent (Table 1).

Notes: TSI numbers for February 2005 (Total, Freight, and Passenger) were revised because of revisions in the output data of the component transportation services. The February TSI of 110.0 and the February Passenger TSI of 106.2 were unchanged from the July release. The January Freight TSI is 111.5, revised from 111.4. The TSI for March, April and May 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 July 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 November 2004 (Seasonally Adjusted, Monthly Average of 2000 = 100)

Excel | CSV

  TSI Freight Passenger
Index Pct. Change Index Pct. Change Index Pct. Change
November 110.3 0.9 111.7 1.3 107.0 -0.2
December 109.9 -0.3 111.2 -0.4 106.8 -0.2
January 111.6 1.5 112.8 1.4 108.4 1.5
FebruaryR 110.0 -1.4 111.5 -1.2 106.2 -2.0
MarchP 111.6 1.5 112.5 0.9 109.2 2.8
AprilP 111.7 0.1 112.6 0.1 109.3 0.1
MayP 112.6 0.8 113.1 0.5 111.2 1.8

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Note: P = preliminary; R = revised

Table 2: Percent changes in the Transportation Services Index from Year-to-Year
May TSI (Monthly average of 2000 = 100)

Excel | CSV

  TSI Percent change from same month previous year
1996 86.7 2.6
1997 91.3 5.3
1998 97.8 7.2
1999 99.8 2.0
2000 99.7 -0.1
2001 100.0 0.3
2002 99.3 -0.8
2003 99.7 0.4
2004 108.3 8.6
2005P 112.6 4.0

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Note: P = preliminary

Table 3: Percent Changes in the Transportation Services Index from Previous Years to 2005
May to May

Excel | CSV

Percent change to May 2005 Since May . . . Duration in years
4.0 2004 1
13.0 2003 2
13.4 2002 3
12.6 2001 4
12.9 2000 5
12.8 1999 6
15.2 1998 7
23.4 1997 8
29.9 1996 9

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Table 4: Percent changes in the Freight Transportation Services Index from Year-to-Year
May Freight TSI (Monthly average of 2000 = 100)

Excel | CSV

  Freight TSI Percent change from same month previous year
1996 87.6 0.9
1997 92.7 5.8
1998 100.7 8.7
1999 102.6 1.8
2000 99.5 -3.0
2001 99.9 0.5
2002 101.3 1.4
2003 102.7 1.3
2004 110.5 7.7
2005P 113.1 2.4

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Note: P = preliminary

Table 5: Percent changes in the Passenger Transportation Services Index from Year-to-Year
May Passenger TSI (Monthly average of 2000 = 100)

Excel | CSV

  Passenger TSI Percent change from same month previous year
1996 84.2 6.5
1997 87.7 4.2
1998 91.1 3.9
1999 93.4 2.5
2000 100.3 7.4
2001 100.2 -0.2
2002 94.4 -5.7
2003 92.6 -1.9
2004 102.8 11.0
2005P 111.2 8.2

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.