Freight TSI up 0.5 percent in January

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The Freight Transportation Services Index rose 0.5 percent in January to 112.3 from the December level of 111.8, rising after a one-month decrease, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported in the first release of the index on an accelerated schedule. However, the January 2006 level is 0.5 percent lower than the January 2005 level, the first decline from January of the previous year since 2002.

The overall TSI, which includes freight and passenger transportation data, fell 0.1 percent in January from its December level, falling for the second consecutive month. The January decline was the second consecutive monthly decline after a 1.2 percent rise in November. The January level of 111.3 for the combined freight and passenger index was 0.3 percent lower than the January 2005 level, the first decline from January of the previous year since 2002. The January level was 9.5 percent higher than the January level of the base year of 2000.

For the year 2005, the combined TSI and its components all increased for the fourth consecutive year. The TSI gain of 1.2 percent in 2005 was the smallest annual increase since a 3.6 percent decline in 2001. The Freight TSI gain of 0.5 percent in 2005 was the smallest annual increase since a 0.6 percent decline in 2001.

The overall 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 TSI, which includes historic data from 1990 to the present, remains under development and is considered experimental. The base year for the index is 2000.

Beginning with this release, BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, will be releasing the TSI one month after the end of the reference period: Previous releases were issued two months following the reference period.