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Transportation Services Index (TSI) Fell 0.6 Percent in January from December

Transportation Services Index (TSI) Fell 0.6 Percent in January from December

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BTS 11-07
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - The Transportation Services Index (TSI) fell 0.6 percent in January from its December level, falling after a one-month rise, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today (Table 1).

The January decline of 0.6 percent was the fifth monthly decline in the past eight months and the 19th decline in the 37 months since January 2004. The index is 2.3 percent below its peak in May 2006 (Table 2).

The decline in January was the first December-to-January decline since 2004 (Table 3).

The January level of 109.5 for the combined freight and passenger index was 1.2 percent lower than the January 2006 level, the second consecutive decline from January of the previous year (Table 4). The January 2007 level was 7.8 percent higher than the January level of the base year of 2000, but was 1.8 percent lower than the January 2005 level (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. For additional historical data prior to 2004, go to http://www.bts.gov/xml/tsi/src/index.xml. Release of the February index is scheduled for April 11.

Transportation Services Index for Freight

The TSI for freight fell 0.4 percent in January from the December level, falling after a one-month increase (Table 6). The January freight index of 107.9 was down 4.4 percent from its peak of 112.8 in January 2005 (Table 7).

Transportation Services Index for Passengers

The TSI for passengers fell 0.9 percent in January from the December level, falling after a one-month increase (Table 8). The Passenger TSI January 2007 level of 111.4 was 1.1 percent higher than the January 2006 level, the fifth consecutive annual increase since a decline in 2002 (Table 9).

More on TSI

Note:TSI numbers for September 2006 (Total, Freight, and Passenger) were revised because of revisions in the output data of the component transportation services. The September TSI is 110.0, revised from the 110.3 reported in the February release. The September Freight TSI is 108.6, revised from 109.5. The September Passenger TSI is 113.2, revised from the 110.7. The TSI for October, November, December and January 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.  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 July 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
July 111.3 -0.4 110.7 -0.8 112.1 0.3
August 109.0 -2.1 107.8 -2.7 112.0 -0.1
SeptemberR 110.0 0.9 108.6 0.8 113.2 1.1
OctoberP 110.3 0.3 109.1 0.4 111.3 -1.7
NovemberP 109.1 -1.0 107.6 -1.4 111.0 -0.3
DecemberP 110.1 0.9 108.4 0.8 112.4 1.2
JanuaryP 109.5 -0.6 107.9 -0.4 111.4 -0.9

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, 2004-2007
Percent change from previous month

Excel | CSV

  2004 % Growth 2005 % Growth 2006 % Growth 2007 % Growth
January -1.4 1.5 0.3 (P) -0.6
February 2.8 -1.4 -1.3  
March 0.7 1.5 1.3  
April 0.7 0.0 -0.3  
May -0.4 0.4 1.5  
June 1.0 -0.5 -0.3  
July -0.2 -0.1 -0.4  
August -0.4 -0.1 -2.1  
September 0.5 -0.3 (R) 0.9  
October 0.1 -0.9 (P) 0.3  
November 0.9 1.6 (P) -1.0  
December -0.3 -0.9 (P) 0.9  

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary; R = revised

Table 3: Transportation Services Index Annual Change, 1998-2007
Percent change from December of previous year
December to January

Excel | CSV

Year TSI Freight Passenger
1998 1.0 1.4 0.2
1999 0.5 0.2 1.2
2000 -0.4 -0.7 0.2
2001 1.1 1.5 0.3
2002 1.2 0.9 2.0
2003 -1.0 -1.1 -0.8
2004 -1.4 -1.6 -1.1
2005 1.5 1.4 1.5
2006 0.3 0.2 0.6
2007P -0.6 -0.4 -0.9

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary

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

Excel | CSV

  TSI Percent change from same month previous year
1998 95.9 7.5
1999 98.2 2.4
2000 101.6 3.5
2001 99.7 -1.9
2002 96.1 -3.6
2003 101.4 5.5
2004 104.3 2.9
2005 111.6 7.0
2006 110.9 -0.6
2007P 109.5 -1.2

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 2007 (January to January)

Excel | CSV

Percent change to January 2007 Since January. . . Duration in years
-1.2 2006 1
-1.8 2005 2
5.0 2004 3
8.0 2003 4
13.9 2002 5
9.9 2001 6
7.8 2000 7
11.5 1999 8
14.2 1998 9
22.8 1997 10

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: The percent changes to January 2007 are all preliminary.

Table 6: Freight Transportation Services Index Monthly Changes, 2004-2007
Percent change from previous month

Excel | CSV

  2004 % Growth 2005 % Growth 2006 % Growth 2007 % Growth
January -1.6 1.4 0.2 (P) -0.4
February 2.6 -1.2 -1.3  
March 0.9 1.0 0.9  
April 0.6 0.0 -0.9  
May -0.3 0.2 2.1  
June 0.8 -0.5 -0.3  
July -0.5 -0.5 -0.8  
August -0.6 0.4 -2.7  
September 0.5 -1.3 (R) 0.8  
October -0.5 -0.6 (P) 0.4  
November 1.3 2.0 (P) -1.4  
December -0.4 -1.1 (P) 0.8  

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary; R = revised

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

Excel | CSV

  Freight TSI Percent change from same month previous year
1998 98.4 9.5
1999 100.1 1.6
2000 104.4 4.3
2001 99.2 -4.9
2002 98.1 -1.2
2003 103.3 5.4
2004 106.4 3.0
2005 112.8 6.0
2006 111.1 -1.5
2007P 107.9 -2.9

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, 2004-2007
Percent change from previous month

Excel | CSV

  2004 % Growth 2005 % Growth 2006 % Growth 2007 % Growth
January -1.1 1.5 0.6 (P) -0.9
February 3.4 -2.0 -1.3  
March 0.1 2.9 2.1  
April 0.8 -0.1 0.5  
May -0.7 0.8 0.5  
June 1.6 -0.5 -0.4  
July 0.5 0.9 0.3  
August 0.1 -1.3 (R) -0.1  
September 0.5 2.3 (P) 1.1  
October 1.6 -1.9 (P) -1.7  
November -0.2 0.4 (P) -0.3  
December -0.2 -0.4 (P) 1.2  

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary; R = revised

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

Excel | CSV

  Passenger TSI Percent change from same month previous year
1998 90.1 3.4
1999 93.7 4.0
2000 95.2 1.6
2001 100.6 5.7
2002 91.5 -9.0
2003 96.8 5.7
2004 99.2 2.5
2005 108.4 9.2
2006 110.2 1.7
2007P 111.4 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 dataSOURCEs, 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.