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Transportation Services Index (TSI) Rose 0.1 Percent in September from August

Transportation Services Index (TSI) Rose 0.1 Percent in September from August

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BTS 56-05
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Tuesday, December 6, 2005 — The Transportation Services Index (TSI) rose 0.1 percent in September to 111.6 (2000=100) from the August level of 111.5, turning up after a one-month decline , 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 September level of 111.6 for the combined freight and passenger index was 2.1 percent higher than the September 2004 level of 109.3 (Table 2) . The September level was 11.4 percent higher than the September 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. Release of October numbers is scheduled for Jan. 6.

Transportation Services Index for Freight

The TSI for freight fell 0.6 percent to 111.8 in September from the August level of 112.4, falling for the third time in four months (Table 1). The September 2005 level of 111.8 is 0.9 percent higher than the September 2004 level of 110.8 (Table 4).

Transportation Services Index for Passengers

The TSI for passengers rose 1.6 percent to 110.9 in September from the August level of 109.1, turning up after a one-month decline (Table 1). The September 2005 level of 110.9 is 5.1 percent higher than the September 2004 level of 105.5 (Table 5).

More on TSI

During the six months ending in September, the TSI fell 0.1 percent, the Freight TSI fell 0.7 percent and the Passenger TSI rose 1.5 percent (Table 1).

Notes: TSI numbers for June 2005 (Total, Freight, and Passenger) were revised because of revisions in the output data of the component transportation services. The June TSI is 111.4, revised from 112.0 reported in the November release. The June Freight TSI is 112.2, revised from 112.6. The June Passenger TSI is 109.4, revised from 110.3. 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. The TSI for the oldest preliminary month, May, has been revised. 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 March 2005 (Seasonally Adjusted, Monthly Average of 2000 = 100)

Excel | CSV

  TSI Freight Passenger
Index Pct. Change Index Pct. Change Index Pct. Change
March 111.6 1.5 112.5 1.0 109.3 2.9
April 111.6 0.0 112.5 0.0 109.2 –0.1
May 112.0 0.4 112.8 0.2 110.0 0.8
JuneR 111.4 –0.5 112.2 –0.5 109.4 –0.5
JulyP 111.6 0.2 111.9 –0.3 110.8 1.3
AugustP 111.5 –0.1 112.4 0.5 109.1 –1.5
SeptemberP 111.6 0.1 111.8 –0.6 110.9 1.6

NOTE: P = preliminary; R = revised

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

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

Excel | CSV

  TSI Percent change from same month previous year
1996 87.0 0.7
1997 94.7 8.8
1998 96.9 2.3
1999 102.0 5.3
2000 100.1 -1.9
2001 92.0 -8.1
2002 99.9 8.6
2003 102.8 2.9
2004 109.3 6.3
2005P 111.6 2.1

NOTE: P = preliminary

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

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

Excel | CSV

Percent change to September 2005 Since September . . . Duration in years
2.1 2004 1
8.5 2003 2
11.7 2002 3
21.3 2001 4
11.4 2000 5
9.3 1999 6
15.2 1998 7
17.8 1997 8
28.2 1996 9

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

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

Excel | CSV

  Freight TSI Percent change from same month previous year
1996 87.5 -1.6
1997 96.3 10.0
1998 99.9 3.7
1999 104.0 4.2
2000 98.9 -5.0
2001 97.4 -1.5
2002 102.6 5.3
2003 104.5 1.9
2004 110.8 6.0
2005P 111.8 0.9

NOTE: P = preliminary

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

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

Excel | CSV

  Passenger TSI Percent change from same month previous year
1996 85.5 6.2
1997 90.8 6.3
1998 90.1 -0.8
1999 97.2 8.0
2000 103.0 5.9
2001 79.3 -23.0
2002 93.5 17.9
2003 98.7 5.5
2004 105.5 7.0
2005P 110.9 5.1

NOTE: P = preliminary

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

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.