Freight index fell 0.7% in September

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The Freight Transportation Services Index fell 0.7 percent in September from its August level, declining for the fifth time in the last six months, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported today, Nov. 14.

The September fall was the largest decline since November 2006 and the sixth decline this year. At 108.1, the Freight TSI is at its lowest level since January 2004 and is down 4.5 percent from its peak of 113.1 achieved in November 2005.

For the first nine months of 2007, the Freight TSI was down 0.7 percent, recording its fourth decline in the past five years for the first nine months of the year. The index had been slightly positive for the year through August, but the September decline pushed it into negative territory.

The September Freight TSI was down 1.6 percent from its September 2006 level, the second consecutive September-to-September decline, and the largest September-to-September decline since 2000.

The September index is at its lowest September level since September 2003, 2.1 percent lower than the September 2005 level and 1.7 percent lower than the September 2004 level. Despite the recent declines, the freight index has increased 5.4 percent in five years and 12.6 percent in 10 years.

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