February freight index up 2.7% from last year

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The Freight Transportation Services Index was unchanged in February from January, following a 2.4 percent monthly increase in January, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported today, April 9. Since dropping to a recent low in September, the freight index has increased in three months, declined in one month and has been unchanged in one month.

At 111.5, the Freight TSI is down 1.5 percent from its peak of 113.1 achieved in November 2005, but up 3.2 percent in the five months since its recent low of 108.0 in September 2007. The 2.4 percent increase in the freight index since December was the largest in the first two months of the year in at least a decade; it also was the first December-to-February increase since 2005.

The February Freight TSI level of 111.5 was 2.7 percent higher than the February 2007 level. The index is 1.1 percent above the February 2006 level but 0.4 percent lower than the February 2005 level. Despite declines from recent February levels, the freight index has increased 9.2 percent in five years and 13.7 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; the index consists of data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight. It includes historic data from 1990 to the present; the baseline year is 2000.

BTS has issued a new technical report explaining the TSI. BTS Technical Report: Transportation Services Index and the Economy is available for download in the BTS bookstore.