You are here

Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) Rose 0.1 Percent in June from May

Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) Rose 0.1 Percent in June from May

PDF

BTS 39-08
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) rose 0.1 percent in June from its May level, rising for the second consecutive month, the U.S. Department of Transportations Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today (Table 2).

For the first six months of 2008, the freight index advanced 2.9 percent, its largest increase for the first six months of the year since 2002. In 2007, the index dropped 0.4 percent in the first half of the year before rising about the same amount in the last six months to finish virtually unchanged for the year (Table 3).

Despite a big increase in May and a sharp decline in March, the freight index was at about the same level in June as in January (Table 1). At 111.5 in June, the freight TSI was up 3.3 percent since its recent low of 108.0 in September 2007 but down 1.4 percent from its peak of 113.1 reached 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 June 2008 freight TSI level was 2.9 percent above the June 2007 level of 108.4. The freight index remains below its June 2006 level of 112.7 (Table 4).

Despite the decline from June 2006 level, the freight index has increased 8.1 percent in five years and 10.3 percent in 10 years (Table 5).

The TSI is a seasonally adjusted index that measures changes from the monthly average of the base year of 2000. It includes historic data from 1990 to the present.  Release of the July index is scheduled for Sept. 10.

BTS has issued a new technical report explaining the TSI. BTS Technical Report: Transportation Services Index and the Economy is available for download at https://www.bts.gov/pdc/index.xml in the BTS bookstore.

Transportation Services Index for Passengers

The TSI for passengers in June remained at its May level, the second time in the last three months it has remained unchanged (Table 6). The Passenger TSI June 2008 level of 116.9 was 0.5 percent higher than the June 2007 level, marking five consecutive annual increases, though the smallest increase, since June 2003 (Table 7). The passenger index declined for the first six months of the year for the first time since 2003 (Table 3). However, the passenger index is up 24.9 percent in five years and 30.2 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 by one-tenth of a point in June from its May level (Table 1), registering its second change of less than 0.1 percent in the last three months (Table 8). The combined TSI June 2008 level of 112.5 was 2.3 percent higher than the June 2007 level, reversing the 1.9 percent drop from June 2006 to June 2007 and exceeding the June 2005 level (Table 9). The combined index rose for the first six months of the year for the fifth consecutive year (Table 3). The combined index is up 12.2 percent in five years and 15.5 percent in 10 years (Table 5).

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

2nd Quarter Changes

On a quarterly basis, the Freight TSI rose 1.9 percent in the second quarter, rising for the third consecutive quarter, and its largest quarterly increase since fourth quarter 2003. The three consecutively quarterly increases coincide with the recovery from the recent low in September (Table 10). The Passenger TSI rose 0.6 percent in the second quarter, rising after two consecutive quarterly declines (Table 11). The Combined TSI increased 1.6 percent in the second quarter, also rising for the third consecutive quarter (Table 12).

More on TSI

NOTE: TSI numbers for February (Freight, Passenger and Combined) were revised because of revisions in the output data of the component transportation services. The February Freight TSI is 111.5, unchanged from the 111.5 reported in the July release. The February Passenger TSI is 116.5, revised from 114.1. The January Combined TSI is 112.4, revised from 111.8. The TSI for March, April, May and June 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 comprehensive revision conducted in July 2007 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 December 2007
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
December 108.4 -1.7 117.3 0.7 110.2 -1.1
January 111.4 2.8 117.1 -0.1 112.5 2.1
FebruaryR 111.5 0.1 116.5 -0.5 112.4 -0.1
MarchP 109.4 -1.9 116.2 -0.3 110.7 -1.5
AprilP 109.4 0.0 116.2 0.0 110.7 0.0
MayP 111.4 1.9 116.9 0.6 112.4 1.6
JuneP 111.5 0.1 116.9 0.0 112.5 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, 2005-2008
Percent change from previous month

Excel | CSV

  2005 % Growth 2006 % Growth 2007 % Growth 2008 % Growth
January 1.7 0.4 -0.3 2.8
February -0.9 -1.4 0.0 (R) 0.1
March 0.1 0.4 1.1 (P) -1.9
April -0.3 -0.3 -0.4 (P) 0.0
May 0.0 2.4 -0.1 (P) 1.9
June -0.4 -0.3 -0.7 (P) 0.1
July -0.5 -0.9 0.1  
August 1.0 -2.5 0.5  
September -1.3 0.9 -0.9  
October -0.3 -0.1 1.7  
November 2.8 -1.4 0.4  
December -1.7 0.6 -1.7  

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary; R = revised

Table 3: Freight, Passenger and Combined Transportation Services Indexes Year-to-Date Change, 1999-2008
Percent change from December of previous year
December to June

Excel | CSV

Year Freight Passenger Combined
1999 2.4 0.6 1.8
2000 -4.5 5.0 -1.6
2001 0.9 -0.7 0.4
2002 4.2 3.4 4.0
2003 -1.4 -4.2 -2.2
2004 2.2 3.7 2.6
2005 0.2 2.7 0.8
2006 1.3 2.1 1.5
2007 -0.4 1.8 0.1
2008P 2.9 -0.3 2.1

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary

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

Excel | CSV

  Freight TSI Percent change from same month previous year
1999 102.3 1.2
2000 100.2 -2.0
2001 98.7 -1.5
2002 101.4 2.7
2003 103.2 1.8
2004 110.4 7.0
2005 111.2 0.7
2006 112.7 1.4
2007 108.4 -3.9
2008P 111.5 2.9

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 2008 (June to June)

Excel | CSV

Since June . . . Duration in years Freight TSI Percent change to June 2008 Passenger TSI Percent change to June 2008 Combined TSI Percent change to June 2008
2007 1 2.9 0.5 2.3
2006 2 -1.1 5.1 0.4
2005 3 0.3 7.0 1.8
2004 4 1.0 12.2 3.7
2003 5 8.1 24.9 12.2
2002 6 10.0 23.8 13.3
2001 7 13.0 16.5 13.4
2000 8 11.2 16.8 12.3
1999 9 9.0 24.2 12.9
1998 10 10.3 30.2 15.5

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: The percent changes to June 2008 are all preliminary.

Table 6: Passenger Transportation Services Index Monthly Changes, 2005-2008
Percent change from previous month

Excel | CSV

  2005 % Growth 2006 % Growth 2007 % Growth 2008 % Growth
January 1.4 1.9 -0.1 -0.1
February -0.1 -0.6 -2.0 (R) -0.5
March 0.5 1.0 2.2 (P) -0.3
April 0.0 0.3 0.5 (P) 0.0
May 0.8 0.6 1.5 (P) 0.6
June 0.1 -1.0 -0.2 (P) 0.0
July 0.1 0.5 -0.1  
August 0.2 0.0 1.1  
September 1.4 0.9 -0.1  
October -1.9 0.4 0.7  
November 0.7 -0.2 -1.5  
December -0.9 1.1 0.7  

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary; R = revised

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

Excel | CSV

  Passenger TSI Percent change from same month previous year
1999 94.1 4.8
2000 100.1 6.4
2001 100.3 0.2
2002 94.4 -5.9
2003 93.6 -0.9
2004 104.2 11.3
2005 109.3 4.9
2006 111.2 1.7
2007 116.2 4.6
2008P 116.9 0.5

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, 2005-2008
Percent change from previous month

Excel | CSV

  2005 % Growth 2006 % Growth 2007 % Growth 2008 % Growth
January 1.6 0.8 -0.3 2.1
February -0.7 -1.2 -0.5 (R) -0.1
March 0.2 0.6 1.4 (P) -1.5
April -0.2 -0.1 -0.2 (P) 0.0
May 0.2 2.0 0.3 (P) 1.6
June -0.3 -0.4 -0.6 (P) 0.0
July -0.3 -0.6 0.0  
August 0.8 -1.9 0.7  
September -0.6 0.9 -0.7  
October -0.7 0.1 1.4  
November 2.3 -1.1 -0.1  
December -1.5 0.7 -1.1  

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary; R = revised

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

Excel | CSV

  TSI Percent change from same month previous year
1999 99.6 2.3
2000 100.2 0.6
2001 99.2 -1.0
2002 99.3 0.0
2003 100.3 1.0
2004 108.5 8.2
2005 110.4 1.8
2006 112.1 1.5
2007 109.9 -1.9
2008P 112.5 2.3

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary

NOTE: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 10: Freight Transportation Services Index Change by Quarter, 1999-2008
Percent change from the last month of the previous quarter

Excel | CSV

Year 1st Quarter (Jan-Mar) % Growth 2nd Quarter (Apr-Jun) % Growth 3rd Quarter (Jul-Sep) % Growth 4th Quarter (Oct-Dec) % Growth
1999 2.9 -0.4 1.7 0.9
2000 -4.8 0.3 -1.4 -0.9
2001 1.6 -0.7 -1.3 -0.1
2002 1.6 2.6 1.1 2.0
2003 -1.5 0.1 1.2 3.5
2004 1.6 0.6 -0.4 1.0
2005 0.9 -0.7 -0.7 0.8
2006 -0.5 1.8 -2.5 -0.9
2007 0.8 -1.3 -0.4 0.4
2008 (P) 0.9 (P) 1.9    

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary

Table 11: Passenger Transportation Services Index Change by Quarter, 1999-2008
Percent change from the last month of the previous quarter

Excel | CSV

Year 1st Quarter (Jan-Mar) % Growth 2nd Quarter (Apr-Jun) % Growth 3rd Quarter (Jul-Sep) % Growth 4th Quarter (Oct-Dec) % Growth
1999 0.2 0.4 3.3 -1.9
2000 4.1 0.9 2.5 -1.6
2001 -0.5 -0.2 -21.0 15.2
2002 2.0 1.4 -0.6 4.1
2003 -4.0 -0.2 5.0 2.3
2004 1.6 2.0 0.9 1.2
2005 1.8 0.9 1.7 -2.1
2006 2.2 -0.1 1.4 1.3
2007 0.0 1.8 1.0 -0.1
2008 (P) -0.9 (P) 0.6    

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary

Table 12: Combined Transportation Services Index Change by Quarter, 1999-2008
Percent change from the last month of the previous quarter

Excel | CSV

Year 1st Quarter (Jan-Mar) % Growth 2nd Quarter (Apr-Jun) % Growth 3rd Quarter (Jul-Sep) % Growth 4th Quarter (Oct-Dec) % Growth
1999 2.0 -0.2 2.2 0.0
2000 -2.1 0.5 -0.2 -1.2
2001 0.9 -0.5 -7.4 3.9
2002 1.7 2.3 0.6 2.6
2003 -2.2 0.0 2.2 3.2
2004 1.6 1.0 -0.1 1.0
2005 1.2 -0.3 -0.1 0.1
2006 0.1 1.4 -1.6 -0.4
2007 0.6 -0.5 0.0 0.2
2008 (P) 0.5 (P) 1.6    

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

NOTE: P = preliminary

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 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.