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Transportation Services Index (TSI) was Unchanged in October from September

Transportation Services Index (TSI) was Unchanged in October from September

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BTS 57-06
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2006 - The Transportation Services Index (TSI) for October was unchanged from its September level, following a one-month rise, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today (Table 1).

The lack of change in October continued a two-year period in which the index has not shown a persistent direction (Table 2). The index rose less than 1 percent from October 2004 to October 2006 (Table 5). For additional historical data prior to 2003, go to http://www.bts.gov/xml/tsi/src/index.xml.

For the first 10 months of 2006, the TSI, a combination of the freight and passenger indexes, fell 0.2 percent, the second consecutive small December-to-October decline but the largest decline since 2001 (Table 3).

The October level of 110.3 for the combined freight and passenger index was 0.5 percent higher than the October 2005 level, the fifth consecutive increase from October of the previous year but the second consecutive year with an October-to-October change of less than 1 percent (Table 4). The October 2006 level was 10.8 percent higher than the October 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 November index is scheduled for Jan. 10, 2007.

Transportation Services Index for Freight

The TSI for freight fell 0.4 percent in October from the September level, turning down after a one-month rise and continuing a pattern that began in October 2005 of alternating monthly increases and decreases (Table 6). The Freight TSI October 2006 level fell 0.7 percent from the October 2005 level, the second consecutive decline from October of the previous year and the largest October-to-October decline since 2000 (Table 7). During the first 10 months of 2006, the Freight TSI fell 1.6 percent, the second consecutive decline in the December-to-October period and the biggest decline in the period since 2000 (Table 3).

Transportation Services Index for Passengers

The TSI for passengers rose 0.6 percent in October from the September level, rising for the second consecutive month (Table 8). The Passenger TSI October 2006 level rose 1.7 percent from the October 2005 level, the fifth consecutive increase from October of the previous year but the smallest increase since a decline from October 2000 to October 2001 (Table 9). For the first 10 months of 2006, the Passenger TSI rose 1.7 percent, the fifth consecutive December-to-October increase but the smallest rise in the period since 2003 (Table 3).

More on TSI

NOTE:TSI numbers for June 2006 (Total, Freight, and Passenger) were revised because of revisions in the output data of the component transportation services. The June TSI is 111.8, revised from the 111.9 reported in the November release. The June Freight TSI is 111.6, revised from 112.6. The June Passenger TSI is 111.7, revised from 110.0. The TSI for July, August, September and October 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 at the end of the calendar year. More information about the revision policy and the TSI index is available at http://www.bts.gov/xml/tsi/src/index.xml.

Table 1: Transportation Services Index Since April 2006
Percent Change by Month
(Seasonally Adjusted, Monthly Average of 2000 = 100)

Excel | CSV

Month TSI Freight Passenger
Index Pct. Change Index Pct. Change Index Pct. Change
April 110.5 -0.3 109.6 -0.9 111.6 0.5
May 112.1 1.5 111.9 2.1 112.2 0.5
JuneR 111.8 -0.3 111.6 -0.3 111.7 -0.4
JulyP 111.5 -0.3 111.7 0.1 110.2 -1.4
AugustP 108.7 -2.5 108.1 -3.2 108.8 -1.2
SeptemberP 110.3 1.5 109.5 1.3 110.7 1.7
OctoberP 110.3 0.0 109.1 -0.4 111.3 0.6

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTES: P = preliminary; R = revised; Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

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

Excel | CSV

Month 2003 % Growth 2004 % Growth 2005 % Growth 2006 % Growth
January -1.0 -1.4 1.5 0.3
February -1.9 2.8 -1.4 -1.3
March 0.9 0.7 1.5 1.3
April -0.5 0.7 0.0 -0.3
May -0.2 -0.4 0.4 1.5
June 1.0 1.0 -0.5 (R) -0.3
July 1.3 -0.2 -0.1 (P) -0.3
August -0.3 -0.4 -0.1 (P) -2.5
September 1.1 0.5 -0.3 (P) 1.5
October 0.7 0.1 -0.9 (P) -0.0
November -0.1 0.9 1.6  
December 2.3 -0.3 -0.9  

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary; R = revised

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

Excel | CSV

Year TSI Freight Passenger
1997 7.1 9.3 2.5
1998 3.7 4.0 3.1
1999 5.2 4.4 6.7
2000 -2.4 -6.2 7.0
2001 -4.7 0.8 -17.2
2002 6.3 6.1 6.6
2003 1.1 1.3 0.4
2004 3.4 2.0 6.9
2005 -0.1 -1.2 2.5
2006P -0.2 -1.6 1.7

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary

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

Excel | CSV

Year TSI Percent change from same month previous year
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
2005 109.8 0.4
2006P 110.3 0.5

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTES: P = preliminary; Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 5: Transportation Services Index from Previous Years
Percent Change to 2006 (October to October)

Excel | CSV

Percent change to October 2006 Since October. . . Duration in years
0.5 2005 1
0.8 2004 2
6.5 2003 3
9.3 2002 4
17.4 2001 5
10.8 2000 6
7.4 1999 7
12.0 1998 8
16.4 1997 9

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

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

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

Excel | CSV

Month 2003 % Growth 2004 % Growth 2005 % Growth 2006 % Growth
January -1.1 -1.6 1.4 0.2
February -1.4 2.6 -1.2 -1.3
March 1.2 0.9 1.0 0.9
April 0.7 0.6 0.0 -0.9
May -1.2 -0.3 0.2 2.1
June 0.8 0.8 -0.5 (R) -0.3
July 0.5 -0.5 -0.5 (P) 0.1
August -0.1 -0.6 0.4 (P) -3.2
September 0.6 0.5 -1.3 (P) 1.3
October 1.3 -0.5 -0.6 (P) -0.4
November -0.8 1.3 2.0  
December 2.9 -0.4 -1.1  

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary; R = revised

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

Excel | CSV

Year Freight TSI Percent change from same month previous year
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
2005 109.9 -0.3
2006P 109.1 -0.7

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTES: P = preliminary; Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

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

Excel | CSV

Month 2003 % Growth 2004 % Growth 2005 % Growth 2006 % Growth
January -0.8 -1.1 1.5 0.6
February -3.1 3.4 -2.0 -1.3
March 0.2 0.1 2.9 2.1
April -3.7 0.8 -0.1 0.5
May 2.3 -0.7 0.8 0.5
June 1.5 1.6 -0.5 (R) -0.4
July 3.4 0.5 0.9 (P) -1.4
August -0.6 0.1 -1.3 (P) -1.2
September 2.2 0.5 2.3 (P) 1.7
October -0.7 1.6 -1.9 (P) 0.6
November 1.3 -0.2 0.4  
December 1.1 -0.2 -0.4  

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary; R = revised

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

Excel | CSV

Year Passenger TSI Percent change from same month previous year
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
2005 109.4 2.1
2006P 111.3 1.7

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTES: P = preliminary; Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

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.