Freight index at lowest level in 7 years

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The Freight Transportation Services Index fell 1.2 percent in April from its March level, declining for the second consecutive month to the lowest level in seven years, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported today, June 10.

The April decrease was the seventh decline in the Freight TSI in the last nine months; the index has declined 10.0 percent in that nine-month period. The 1.2 percent decline in the first four months of 2009 was the second-largest in the last decade, exceeded only by a 6.7 percent decline for the first four months of 2000.

The April level of the Freight TSI, 100.2, is the lowest since April 2002 when it was 99.3. The Freight TSI is down 11.4 percent from its historic peak of 113.1 reached in November 2005.

The 8.5 percent decline in the Freight TSI from April 2008 to April 2009 was the largest April-to-April decline in the 20 years for which the TSI is calculated. The freight index is also down 9.4 percent in the five years from April 2004, the fifth consecutive month in which the index declined for a five-year period. The index is down 1.7 percent in 10 years for the second-ever 10-year decline in the 20-year history of TSI data; the first 10-year decline was in March.

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. It includes historic data from 1990 to the present. The baseline year is 2000.