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Transportation Services Index (TSI) Fell 1.0 Percent in November from October

Transportation Services Index (TSI) Fell 1.0 Percent in November from October

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BTS 01-07
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - The Transportation Services Index (TSI) for November fell 1.0 percent from its October level, declining for the first time since August, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today (Table 1).

The index has declined 2.7 percent since reaching its peak of 112.1 in May (Table 2). The index is at its second lowest point since August 2004 being exceeded only by August 2006. For additional historical data prior to 2003, go to http://www.bts.gov/xml/tsi/src/index.xml.

For the first 11 months of 2006, the TSI, a combination of the freight and passenger indexes, fell 1.2 percent, the first decline in the period since December-to-November 2001 (Table 3).

The November level of 109.1 for the combined freight and passenger index was the lowest November level since 2003. It was 2.1 percent lower than the November 2005 level, the first decline from November of the previous year since 2001 (Table 4). The November 2006 level was 9.2 percent higher than the November 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 December index is scheduled for Feb. 14.

Transportation Services Index for Freight

The TSI for freight fell 1.4 percent in November from the October level, declining for the fifth time in six months to drop to its lowest level since January 2004. The November freight index of 107.6 was down 4.7 percent from its peak of 112.8 in January 2005 (Table 6). The Freight TSI November 2006 level of 107.6 was the lowest November level since 2003. The Freight TSI November 2006 level fell 4.1 percent from the November 2005 level, the first decline from November of the previous year since 2001, the largest decline since 2000 and the second largest decline in the last 10 years (Table 7). During the first 11 months of 2006, the Freight TSI fell 3.0 percent, the first decline in the December-to-November period since 2001, the largest decline since 2000 and the second largest decline in the last 10 years (Table 3).

Transportation Services Index for Passengers

The TSI for passengers fell 0.3 percent in November from the October level, declining after two monthly increases (Table 8). The Passenger TSI November 2006 level rose 1.1 percent from the November 2005 level, the fifth consecutive increase from November of the previous year but the smallest increase since a decline from November 2000 to November 2001 (Table 9). For the first 11 months of 2006, the Passenger TSI rose 1.4 percent, the fifth consecutive increase in the December-to-November period but the smallest increase since 2001 (Table 3).

More on TSI

NOTE:TSI numbers for July 2006 (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 the 111.5 reported in the December release. The July Freight TSI is 110.7, revised from 111.7. The July Passenger TSI is 112.1, revised from 110.2. The TSI for August, September, October and November 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 May 2006
Percent Change by Month
(Seasonally Adjusted, Monthly Average of 2000 = 100)

Excel | CSV

  TSI Freight Passenger
Index Pct. Change Index Pct. Change Index Pct. Change
May 112.1 1.5 111.9 2.1 112.2 0.5
June 111.8 -0.3 111.6 -0.3 111.7 -0.4
JulyR 111.3 -0.4 110.7 -0.8 112.1 0.3
AugustP 108.7 -2.3 108.1 -2.4 108.8 -2.9
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
NovemberP 109.1 -1.0 107.6 -1.4 111.0 -0.3

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary; R = revised

NOTE: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

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

Excel | CSV

  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 -0.3
July 1.3 -0.2 -0.1 (R) -0.4
August -0.3 -0.4 -0.1 (P) -2.3
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 (P) -1.0
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 November

Excel | CSV

Year TSI Freight Passenger
1997 6.7 8.2 3.5
1998 3.8 4.0 3.6
1999 5.3 4.5 7.0
2000 -2.1 -5.9 7.5
2001 -4.0 -0.1 -12.8
2002 6.8 6.8 7.0
2003 0.9 0.6 1.7
2004 4.3 3.3 6.6
2005 1.4 0.8 2.9
2006P -1.2 -3.0 1.4

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary

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

Excel | CSV

  TSI Percent change from same month previous year
1997 94.3 6.8
1998 98.6 4.5
1999 102.8 4.3
2000 99.9 -2.8
2001 94.7 -5.3
2002 101.5 7.2
2003 103.4 1.9
2004 110.3 6.7
2005 111.5 1.1
2006P 109.1 -2.1

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary

NOTE: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

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

Excel | CSV

Percent change to November 2006 Since November. . . Duration in years
-2.1 2005 1
-1.1 2004 2
5.6 2003 3
7.6 2002 4
15.3 2001 5
9.2 2000 6
6.1 1999 7
10.7 1998 8
15.7 1997 9

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

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

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

Excel | CSV

  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 -0.3
July 0.5 -0.5 -0.5 (R) -0.8
August -0.1 -0.6 0.4 (P) -2.4
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 (P) -1.4
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 November Freight TSI
(Monthly average of 2000 = 100)

Excel | CSV

  Freight TSI Percent change from same month previous year
1997 96.3 7.5
1998 101.0 4.9
1999 104.3 3.3
2000 98.9 -5.2
2001 97.7 -1.3
2002 103.8 6.3
2003 105.1 1.2
2004 111.7 6.3
2005 112.1 0.4
2006P 107.6 -4.1

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary

NOTE: 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

  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 -0.4
July 3.4 0.5 0.9 (R) 0.3
August -0.6 0.1 -1.3 (P) -2.9
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 (P) -0.3
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 November Passenger TSI
(Monthly average of 2000 = 100)

Excel | CSV

  Passenger TSI Percent change from same month previous year
1997 89.8 5.4
1998 93.1 3.7
1999 99.1 6.5
2000 102.2 3.1
2001 87.5 -14.3
2002 96.0 9.6
2003 99.3 3.4
2004 107.0 7.8
2005 109.9 2.7
2006P 111.0 1.1

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary

NOTE: 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.