Freight index down 0.5 percent in April

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The Freight Transportation Services Index fell to 111.0 in April, down 0.5 percent from the March level of 111.6, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The index turned down after a one-month rise.

The Freight TSI April 2006 level is 1.3 percent lower than the April 2005 level, the first decline from April of the previous year since 2000. However, for the first four months of 2006, the Freight TSI rose 0.1 percent, the third consecutive rise in the January-to-April period.

The overall TSI, which includes passenger transportation data, rose 0.1 percent in April from its March level, rising for the second consecutive month. Prior to the increases in March and April, the last time there were at least two consecutive monthly increases was in October and November 2004.

For the first four months of 2006, the overall TSI rose 0.6 percent, the third consecutive January-to-April rise. But the April level of 111.2 for the combined freight and passenger index was 0.3 percent lower than the April 2005 level, the first decline from April of the previous year since 2002.

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