You are here

Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) Rose 1.3 Percent in October from September

Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) Rose 1.3 Percent in October from September

PDF

BTS 56-07
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) rose 1.3 percent in October from its September level, rising after a one-month decline that brought the index to its lowest level since January 2004, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today (Table 1).

The October rise was the largest monthly increase since May 2006 (Table 2). At 109.5, the freight TSI is down 3.2 percent from its peak of 113.1 achieved in November 2005. For additional historical data, go to http://www.bts.gov/xml/tsi/src/index.xml.

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.

The October increase pushed the freight index into positive territory for the year after having been down for the first nine months. For the first 10 months of 2007, the freight TSI was up 0.6 percent. In 2005 and 2006, the index declined during the 10-month period (Table 3).

The October freight TSI of 109.5 was down 0.3 percent from its October 2006 level, the second consecutive October-to-October decline, and the largest October-to- October decline since 2000 (Table 4).

The October index is at its lowest October level since October 2003, 0.6 percent lower than the October 2004 level and 0.5 percent lower than the October 2005 level. Despite the recent declines, the freight index has increased 5.8 percent in five years and 13.1 percent in 10 years (Table 5).

The TSI is an index of the month-to-month changes in the output of services provided by for-hire transportation industries. It 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. Release of the November index is scheduled for Jan. 9, 2008.

Transportation Services Index for Passengers

The TSI for passengers fell 1.0 percent in October from its September level, falling after two consecutive monthly increases (Table 6). The Passenger TSI October 2007 level of 116.0 was 2.5 percent higher than the October 2006 level, marking six consecutive annual increases since October 2001 (Table 7). For the first 10 months of 2007, the passenger TSI rose 1.6 percent, the sixth consecutive year in which the index has increased during the first 10 months (Table 3). The passenger index is up 20.4 percent in five years and 31.2 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 air, local transit and intercity rail.

Combined Freight and Passenger Index

The combined freight and passenger TSI rose 0.7 percent in October from its September level, rising after a one-month decline (Table 8). The combined TSI October 2007 level of 110.7 was 0.4 percent higher than the October 2006 level (Table 9). For the first 10 months of 2007, the combined TSI rose 0.8 percent (Table 3). The combined index is up 9.3 percent in five years and 17.7 percent in 10 years (Table 5).

The combined TSI merges the freight and passenger indexes into a single index.

More on TSI

NOTE: TSI numbers for June (Freight, Passenger and Combined) were revised because of revisions in the output data of the component transportation services. The June Freight TSI is 108.4, revised from the 108.9 reported in the November release. The May Passenger TSI is 116.2, revised from 114.7. The May Combined TSI is 109.9, 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.  More information about the monthly revision policy, the 2007 comprehensive revision conducted with the July release 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 April 2007
Percent Change by Month
(Seasonally Adjusted, Monthly Average of 2000 = 100)

Excel | CSV

Month Freight Passenger Combined
Index Pct. Change Index Pct. Change Index Pct. Change
April 109.3 -0.4 114.7 0.5 110.3 -0.2
May 109.2 -0.1 116.5 1.5 110.6 0.3
JuneR 108.4 -0.7 116.2 -0.2 109.9 -0.6
JulyP 108.5 0.1 114.8 -1.2 109.7 -0.2
AugustP 108.9 0.4 115.1 0.2 110.1 0.3
SeptemberP 108.1 -0.7 117.2 1.8 109.9 -0.1
OctoberP 109.5 1.3 116.0 -1.0 110.7 0.7

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

Month 2004 % Growth 2005 % Growth 2006 % Growth 2007 % Growth
January -1.5 1.7 0.4 -0.3
February 3.0 -0.9 -1.4 0.0
March 0.2 0.1 0.4 1.1
April 0.7 -0.3 -0.3 -0.4
May -0.4 0.0 2.4 -0.1
June 0.3 -0.4 -0.3 (R) -0.7
July -0.2 -0.5 -0.9 (P) 0.1
August -0.4 1.0 -2.5 (P) 0.4
September 0.2 -1.3 0.9 (P) -0.7
October 0.2 -0.3 -0.1 (P) 1.3
November 1.2 2.8 -1.4  
December -0.4 -1.7 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 October

Excel | CSV

Year Freight Passenger Combined
1998 4.0 3.3 3.8
1999 4.2 4.9 4.4
2000 -6.0 6.9 -2.1
2001 0.8 -17.4 -4.9
2002 6.4 5.6 6.1
2003 1.5 0.6 1.2
2004 1.9 6.9 3.2
2005 -0.8 2.5 0.0
2006 -1.3 4.0 -0.1
2007P 0.6 1.6 0.8

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary

Table 4: 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
1998 100.7 4.0
1999 104.1 3.4
2000 98.7 -5.1
2001 98.6 -0.1
2002 103.5 4.9
2003 106.1 2.6
2004 110.1 3.7
2005 110.1 0.0
2006 109.8 -0.2
2007P 109.5 -0.3

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 (October to October)

Excel | CSV

Since October. . . Duration in years Freight TSI Percent change to October 2007 Passenger TSI Percent change to October 2007 Combined TSI Percent change to October 2007
2006 1 -0.3 2.5 0.4
2005 2 -0.5 6.4 1.1
2004 3 -0.6 8.0 1.4
2003 4 3.1 18.1 6.7
2002 5 5.8 20.4 9.3
2001 6 11.0 39.2 17.8
2000 7 10.9 13.9 11.0
1999 8 5.2 18.2 8.4
1998 9 8.7 24.9 12.8
1997 10 13.1 31.2 17.7

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

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

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

Excel | CSV

Month 2004 % Growth 2005 % Growth 2006 % Growth 2007 % Growth
January -1.2 1.4 1.9 -0.1
February 1.8 -0.1 -0.6 -2.0
March 1.1 0.5 1.0 2.2
April 0.7 0.0 0.3 0.5
May -0.3 0.8 0.6 1.5
June 1.6 0.1 -1.0 (R) -0.2
July 0.2 0.1 0.5 (P) -1.2
August 0.9 0.2 0.0 (P) 0.2
September -0.2 1.4 0.9 (P) 1.8
October 2.2 -1.9 0.4 (P) -1.0
November -0.9 0.7 -0.2  
December -0.1 -0.9 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 October Passenger TSI
(Monthly average of 2000 = 100)

Excel | CSV

Year Passenger TSI Percent change from same month previous year
1998 92.9 5.0
1999 98.1 5.7
2000 101.8 3.8
2001 83.4 -18.1
2002 96.3 15.6
2003 98.3 2.0
2004 107.4 9.3
2005 109.0 1.5
2006 113.2 3.8
2007P 116.0 2.5

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

Month 2004 % Growth 2005 % Growth 2006 % Growth 2007 % Growth
January -1.4 1.6 0.8 -0.3
February 2.6 -0.7 -1.2 -0.5
March 0.4 0.2 0.6 1.4
April 0.7 -0.2 -0.1 -0.2
May -0.4 0.2 2.0 0.3
June 0.7 -0.3 -0.4 (R) -0.6
July -0.1 -0.3 -0.6 (P) -0.2
August -0.1 0.8 -1.9 (P) 0.3
September 0.1 -0.6 0.9 (P) -0.1
October 0.7 -0.7 0.1 (P) 0.7
November 0.6 2.3 -1.1  
December -0.3 -1.5 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 October TSI
(Monthly average of 2000 = 100)

Excel | CSV

Year TSI Percent change from same month previous year
1998 98.1 4.3
1999 102.1 4.1
2000 99.7 -2.4
2001 94.0 -5.8
2002 101.3 7.8
2003 103.8 2.4
2004 109.2 5.2
2005 109.5 0.3
2006 110.3 0.7
2007P 110.7 0.4

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.