Freight index rose 0.4% in August from July

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The Freight Transportation Services Index rose 0.4 percent in August from its July level, rising after two consecutive monthly declines, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported today, Oct. 10.

The August rise was only the second in the past five months. At 108.9, the Freight TSI is down 3.7 percent from its peak of 113.1 achieved in November 2005 and up 0.6 percent from its recent low of 108.3 in November 2006.

For the first eight months of 2007, the Freight TSI was up by less than 0.1 percent. The Freight TSI had been down 0.3 percent through the first seven months of the year, but the August increase of 0.4 percent turned the index slightly positive for the first eight months. The small increase kept the TSI from recording its third decline in the past five years for the first eight months of the year.

The August Freight TSI of 108.9 was unchanged from its August 2006 level, leaving it below the August 2004 level after last year’s 2.6 percent August-to-August decrease. The Freight TSI has not increased from one August to the next since 2004 to 2005.

The August index is at its lowest August level since August 2003, 2.6 percent lower than the August 2005 level and 0.7 percent lower than the August 2004 level. Despite the recent declines, the freight index has increased 6.2 percent in five years and 15.6 percent in 10 years.

The Freight TSI — which measures the month-to-month changes in the output of services provided by the for-hire freight transportation industries — consists of data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight. The baseline year for the index, which includes historic data from 1990 to the present, is 2000.