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Transportation Services Index (TSI) Fell 0.6 Percent in October from September

Transportation Services Index (TSI) Fell 0.6 Percent in October from September

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BTS 01-06
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Friday, Jan. 6, 2006 - The Transportation Services Index (TSI) fell 0.6 percent in October to 110.9 (2000=100) from the September level of 111.6, turning down to its lowest level since February after two months of 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 October level of 110.9 for the combined freight and passenger index was 1.4 percent higher than the October 2004 level of 109.4 (Table 2). The October level was 11.4 percent higher than the October 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 November numbers is scheduled for Feb. 6.

Transportation Services Index for Freight

The TSI for freight fell 0.4 percent to 111.3 in October from the September level of 111.8, falling for the fourth time in five months to its lowest level since December 2004 (Table 1). The October 2005 level of 111.3 is 1.0 percent higher than the October 2004 level of 110.2 (Table 4).

Transportation Services Index for Passengers

The TSI for passengers fell 1.1 percent to 109.7 in October from the September level of 110.9, turning down after a one-month increase (Table 1). The October 2005 level of 109.7 is 2.3 percent higher than the October 2004 level of 107.2 (Table 5).

More on TSI

During the six months ending in October, the TSI fell 0.6 percent, the Freight TSI fell 1.1 percent and the Passenger TSI rose 0.4 percent (Table 1).

Notes: TSI numbers for July 2005 (Total, Freight, and Passenger) were revised because of revisions in the output data of the component transportation services. The July TSI is 111.3, revised from 111.6 reported in the December release. The July Freight TSI is 111.6, revised from 111.9. The July Passenger TSI is 110.4, revised from 110.8. The TSI for August, September and October 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, July, 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 April 2005 (Seasonally Adjusted, Monthly Average of 2000 = 100)

Excel | CSV

  TSI Freight Passenger
Index Pct. Change Index Pct. Change Index Pct. Change
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
June 111.4 -0.5 112.2 -0.5 109.4 -0.5
JulyR 111.3 -0.1 111.6 -0.5 110.4 0.9
AugustP 111.5 0.2 112.4 0.7 109.1 -1.1
SeptemberP 111.6 0.1 111.8 -0.6 110.9 1.6
OctoberP 110.9 -0.6 111.3 -0.4 109.7 -1.1

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 2000 = 100)

Excel | CSV

  TSI Percent change from same month previous year
1996 87.9 4.1
1997 94.7 7.8
1998 98.5 4.0
1999 102.7 4.3
2000 99.6 -3.1
2001 94.0 -5.6
2002 101.0 7.4
2003 103.5 2.6
2004 109.4 5.6
2005P 110.9 1.4

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Note: P = preliminary

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

Excel | CSV

Percent change to October 2005 Since October. . . Duration in years
1.4 2004 1
7.1 2003 2
9.8 2002 3
18.0 2001 4
11.4 2000 5
7.9 1999 6
12.6 1998 7
17.1 1997 8
26.2 1996 9

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 2000 = 100)

Excel | CSV

  Freight TSI Percent change from same month previous year
1996 88.7 3.2
1997 97.2 9.6
1998 101.0 3.8
1999 104.3 3.3
2000 98.6 -5.4
2001 98.6 0.0
2002 103.2 4.7
2003 105.9 2.6
2004 110.2 4.1
2005P 111.3 1.0

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Note: P = preliminary

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

Excel | CSV

  Passenger TSI Percent change from same month previous year
1996 85.5 6.1
1997 88.9 4.0
1998 92.7 4.3
1999 98.9 6.6
2000 101.6 2.8
2001 83.1 -18.3
2002 95.7 15.1
2003 97.9 2.4
2004 107.2 9.5
2005P 109.7 2.3

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.