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Transportation Services Index (TSI) Rose 0.1 Percent in April from March

Transportation Services Index (TSI) Rose 0.1 Percent in April from March

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BTS 27-06
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Tuesday, June 6, 2006 - The Transportation Services Index (TSI) rose 0.1 percent in April from its March level, rising for the second consecutive month, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today (Table 1).

Prior to the increases in March and April, the last time there were at least two consecutive monthly increases was in October and November 2004 (Table 2).

For the first four months of 2006, the TSI, a combination of the freight and passenger indexes, rose 0.6 percent, the third consecutive January-to-April rise (Table 3).

The April level of 111.2 for the combined freight and passenger index was 0.3 percent lower than the April 2005 level, the first decline from April of the previous year since 2002 (Table 4). The April level was 13.2 percent higher than the April level of the base year of 2000 (Table 5).

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 the May index is scheduled for July 6.

Transportation Services Index for Freight

The TSI for freight fell 0.5 percent in April from the March level, turning down after a one-month rise (Table 6). The Freight TSI April 2006 level is 1.3 percent lower than the April 2005 level, the first decline from April of the previous year since 2000 (Table 7). For the first four months of 2006, the Freight TSI rose 0.1 percent, the third consecutive rise in the January-to-April period (Table 3).

Transportation Services Index for Passengers

The TSI for passengers rose 1.2 percent in April from the March level, rising for the second consecutive month (Table 8). The Passenger TSI April 2006 level rose 1.2 percent from the April 2005 level, the third consecutive rise from April of the previous year (Table 9). For the first four months of 2006, the Passenger TSI rose 0.9 percent, the third consecutive January-to-April rise (Table 3).

More on TSI

NOTE: TSI numbers for December 2005 (Total, Freight, and Passenger) were revised because of revisions in the output data of the component transportation services. The December TSI is 110.5, revised from the 111.3 reported in the May release. The December Freight TSI is 110.9, revised from 111.8. The December Passenger TSI is 109.5, revised from 110.0. The TSI for January, February, March and April are preliminary.

TSI revision policy: TSI is updated monthly with the latest four 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 and the TSI index is available at http://www.bts.gov/xml/tsi/src/index.xml.

Table 1: Percent changes in the Transportation Services Index by Month
Since October 2005 (Seasonally Adjusted, Monthly Average of 2000 = 100)

Excel | CSV

Month TSI Freight Passenger
Index Pct. Change Index Pct. Change Index Pct. Change
October 109.8 -0.9 109.9 -0.6 109.4 -1.9
November 111.5 1.6 112.1 2.0 109.9 0.4
DecemberR 110.5 -0.9 110.9 -1.1 109.5 -0.4
JanuaryP 111.3 0.7 112.3 1.3 108.7 -0.7
FebruaryP 110.2 -0.9 111.4 -0.8 107.4 -1.2
MarchP 111.0 0.8 111.6 0.2 109.2 1.7
AprilP 111.2 0.1 111.0 -0.5 110.5 1.2

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary; R = revised

Table 2: Transportation Services Index Monthly Changes, 2003-2006
Percentage change from previous month

Excel | CSV

Month 2003 % Growth 2004 % Growth 2005 % Growth 2006 % Growth
January -1.0 -1.4 1.5 (P) 0.7
February -1.9 2.8 -1.4 (P) -0.9
March 0.9 0.7 1.5 (P) 0.8
April -0.5 0.7 0.0 (P) 0.1
May -0.2 -0.4 0.4  
June 1.0 1.0 -0.5  
July 1.3 -0.2 -0.1  
August -0.3 -0.4 -0.1  
September 1.1 0.5 -0.3  
October 0.7 0.1 -0.9  
November -0.1 0.9 1.6  
December 2.3 -0.3 (R) -0.9  

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary; R = revised

Table 3: Transportation Services Index Year-to-Date Change, 1997-2006
Percentage change from December of previous year
December to April

Excel | CSV

Year TSI Freight Passenger
1997 3.0 4.0 1.0
1998 0.8 1.0 0.4
1999 2.1 2.3 1.8
2000 -3.7 -6.9 4.2
2001 0.8 0.9 0.6
2002 2.8 2.3 4.2
2003 -2.5 -0.6 -7.3
2004 2.7 2.5 3.1
2005 1.5 1.2 2.3
2006P 0.6 0.1 0.9

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary

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

Excel | CSV

Year TSI Percent change from same month previous year
1997 91.1 6.0
1998 97.4 6.9
1999 99.8 2.4
2000 98.2 -1.5
2001 99.4 1.2
2002 97.7 -1.7
2003 99.9 2.2
2004 108.7 8.8
2005 111.6 2.7
2006P 111.2 -0.3

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary

Table 5: Percent Changes in the Transportation Services Index from Previous Years to 2006
April to April

Excel | CSV

Percent change to April 2006 Since April. . . Duration in years
-0.3 2005 1
2.3 2004 2
11.3 2003 3
13.8 2002 4
11.9 2001 5
13.2 2000 6
11.5 1999 7
14.1 1998 8
22.1 1997 9

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: The percent changes to March 2006 are all preliminary.

Table 6: Freight Transportation Services Index Monthly Changes, 2003-2006
Percentage change from previous month

Excel | CSV

Month 2003 % Growth 2004 % Growth 2005 % Growth 2006 % Growth
January -1.1 -1.6 1.4 (P) 1.3
February -1.4 2.6 -1.2 (P) -0.8
March 1.2 0.9 1.0 (P) 0.2
April 0.7 0.6 0.0 (P) -0.5
May -1.2 -0.3 0.2  
June 0.8 0.8 -0.5  
July 0.5 -0.5 -0.5  
August -0.1 -0.6 0.4  
September 0.6 0.5 -1.3  
October 1.3 -0.5 -0.6  
November -0.8 1.3 2.0  
December 2.9 -0.4 (R) -1.1  

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary; R = revised

Table 7: Percent changes in the Freight Transportation Services Index from Year-to-Year
April Freight TSI (Monthly average of 2000 = 100)

Excel | CSV

Year Freight TSI Percent change from same month previous year
1997 92.5 6.2
1998 100.6 8.7
1999 102.1 1.5
2000 97.9 -4.2
2001 98.6 0.8
2002 99.5 0.8
2003 103.9 4.4
2004 110.9 6.7
2005 112.5 1.5
2006P 111.0 -1.3

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary

Table 8: Passenger Transportation Services Index Monthly Changes, 2003-2006
Percentage change from previous month

Excel | CSV

Month 2003 % Growth 2004 % Growth 2005 % Growth 2006 % Growth
January -0.8 -1.1 1.5 (P) -0.7
February -3.1 3.4 -2.0 (P) -1.2
March 0.2 0.1 2.9 (P) 1.7
April -3.7 0.8 -0.1 (P) 1.2
May 2.3 -0.7 0.8  
June 1.5 1.6 -0.5  
July 3.4 0.5 0.9  
August -0.6 0.1 -1.3  
September 2.2 0.5 2.3  
October -0.7 1.6 -1.9  
November 1.3 -0.2 0.4  
December 1.1 -0.2 (R) -0.4  

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary; R = revised

Table 9: Percent changes in the Passenger Transportation Services Index from Year-to-Year
April Passenger TSI (Monthly average of 2000 = 100)

Excel | CSV

Year Passenger TSI Percent change from same month previous year
1997 87.6 5.6
1998 90.4 3.1
1999 94.3 4.4
2000 99.1 5.0
2001 101.0 1.9
2002 93.5 -7.4
2003 90.5 -3.2
2004 103.4 14.3
2005 109.2 5.5
2006P 110.5 1.2

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.