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

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

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BTS 27-07
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) fell 0.1 percent in April from its March level, falling after a one-month rise, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today (Table 1).

The April decline was the fourth in the last seven months (Table 2). The freight TSI is down 3.5 percent from its peak of 112.8 first achieved in January 2005 but up 1.8 percent from its recent low of 107.1 in November 2006.

The freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in the output of services provided by the for-hire freight transportation industries. The index consists of data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight.

For the year-to-date, the freight TSI rose 1.2 percent, compared to a 1.2 percent drop during the December-to-April period in 2006 (Table 3).

The April freight TSI of 108.9 was down 0.6 percent from its April 2006 level and down 3.2 percent from its April 2005 level (Table 4).

Despite the recent declines, the freight index has increased 9.5 percent in five years and 17.8 percent in 10 years (Table 5).

The index includes historic data from 1990 to the present.  The TSI is still under development and is considered experimental.  The seasonally adjusted 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 May index is scheduled for July 11.

Transportation Services Index for Passengers

The TSI for passengers rose 0.7 percent in April from the March level, rising for the second consecutive month (Table 6). The Passenger TSI April 2007 level of 114.6 was 2.7 percent higher than the April 2006 level, the fourth consecutive annual increase since consecutive declines in 2002 and 2003 (Table 7). Year-to-date, the passenger TSI declined 0.1 percent, ending a string of December-to-April increases that began in 2004 (Table 3). The passenger index is up 22.6 percent in five years and 30.7 percent in 10 years (Table 5).

The passenger TSI measures the month-to-month changes in the output of services provided by the for-hire passenger transportation industries. The seasonally adjusted index consists of data from local transit, intercity rail and air.

Combined Freight and Passenger Index

The combined freight and passenger TSI was flat between April and March, following a one-month rise (Table 8). The combined TSI April 2007 level of 111.0 was 0.5 percent higher than the April 2006 level, but failed to regain its April 2005 level after last year's decline (Table 9). Year-to-date, the combined TSI rose 1.3 percent and has not declined in the December-to-April period since 2003 (Table 3). The combined index is up 13.7 percent in five years and 21.9 percent in 10 years (Table 5).

The combined TSI merges the freight and passenger indexes into a single seasonally adjusted index of the month-to-month changes in the output of services provided by the for-hire transportation industries.

More on TSI

NOTE:TSI numbers for December 2006 (Freight, Passenger and Combined) were revised because of revisions in the output data of the component transportation services. The December Freight TSI is 107.7, revised from the 108.4 reported in the May release. The December Passenger TSI is 114.7, revised from 112.4. The December combined TSI is 109.6, revised from 110.1. 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.  More information about the revision policy and the TSI index is available at http://www.bts.gov/xml/tsi/src/index.xml.

Table 1: Freight, Passenger and Combined Transportation Services Indexes Since October 2006
Percent Change by Month
(Seasonally Adjusted, Monthly Average of 2000 = 100)

Excel | CSV

  Freight Passenger Combined
Index Pct. Change Index Pct. Change Index Pct. Change
October 108.5 -0.1 113.5 0.3 110.0 0.0
November 107.1 -1.4 113.5 0.0 108.8 -1.0
DecemberR 107.7 0.6 114.7 1.1 109.6 0.7
JanuaryP 107.9 0.2 111.4 -2.9 109.5 -0.1
FebruaryP 107.7 -0.2 111.0 -0.3 109.2 -0.3
MarchP 109.1 1.3 113.8 2.5 111.0 1.6
AprilP 108.9 -0.1 114.6 0.7 111.0 0.0

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary; R = revised

NOTE: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 2: 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) 0.2
February 2.6 -1.2 -1.3 (P) -0.2
March 0.9 1.0 0.9 (P) 1.3
April 0.6 0.0 -0.9 (P) -0.1
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 0.8  
October -0.5 -0.6 -0.1  
November 1.3 2.0 -1.4  
December -0.4 -1.1 (R) 0.6  

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary; R = revised

Table 3: Freight, Passenger and Combined Transportation Services Indexes Year-to Date Change, 1998-2007
Percent change from December of previous year
December to April

Excel | CSV

Year Freight Passenger Combined
1998 3.6 0.5 2.6
1999 2.3 1.8 2.1
2000 -6.9 4.2 -3.7
2001 0.9 0.6 0.8
2002 2.3 4.2 2.8
2003 -0.6 -7.3 -2.5
2004 2.5 3.1 2.7
2005 1.2 2.3 1.5
2006 -1.2 2.0 0.0
2007P 1.2 -0.1 1.3

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary

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

Excel | CSV

  Freight TSI Percent change from same month previous year
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
2006 109.6 -2.6
2007P 108.9 -0.6

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary

NOTE: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 5: Transportation Services Indexes from Previous Years
Percent Change to 2007 (April to April)

Excel | CSV

Freight TSI Percent change to April 2007 Passenger TSI Percent change to April 2007 Combined TSI Percent change to April 2007 Since April . . . Duration in years
-0.6 2.7 0.5 2006 1
-3.2 4.9 -0.5 2005 2
-1.7 10.7 2.2 2004 3
4.9 26.6 11.2 2003 4
9.5 22.6 13.7 2002 5
10.4 13.4 11.8 2001 6
11.3 15.6 13.1 2000 7
6.7 21.5 11.3 1999 8
8.3 26.8 14.0 1998 9
17.8 30.7 21.9 1997 10

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

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

Table 6: 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) -2.9
February 3.4 -2.0 -1.3 (P) -0.3
March 0.1 2.9 2.1 (P) 2.5
April 0.8 -0.1 0.5 (P) 0.7
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 -0.1  
September 0.5 2.3 1.1  
October 1.6 -1.9 0.3  
November -0.2 0.4 0.0  
December -0.2 -0.4 (R) 1.1  

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary; R = revised

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

Excel | CSV

  Passenger TSI Percent change from same month previous year
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
2006 111.6 2.2
2007P 114.6 2.7

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary

NOTE: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 8: Combined 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) -0.1
February 2.8 -1.4 -1.3 (P) -0.3
March 0.7 1.5 1.3 (P) 1.6
April 0.7 0.0 -0.3 (P) 0.0
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 0.9  
October 0.1 -0.9 0.0  
November 0.9 1.6 -1.0  
December -0.3 -0.9 (R) 0.7  

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary; R = revised

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

Excel | CSV

  TSI Percent change from same month previous year
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
2006 110.5 -1.0
2007P 111.0 0.5

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.