June freight index unchanged from 12-year low

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The Freight Transportation Services Index was unchanged in June from its May level, remaining at its lowest level in 12 years, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported today, Aug. 12.

BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the Freight TSI has declined in all but two of the last 11 months, and that the index has declined 14.8 percent in that 11-month period.

The June Freight TSI of 94.0 is the same as in May, remaining at its lowest level since June 1997 when it was 92.4. The Freight TSI is down 16.7 percent from its historic peak of 112.9 reached in May 2006.

The 6.3 percent decline in the first six months of 2009 was the largest in the last decade, exceeding the 4.6 percent decline for the first six months of 2000. The 14.2 percent decline in the Freight TSI from June 2008 to June 2009 was the largest June-to-June decline in the 20 years for which the TSI is calculated.

The freight index is also down 14.7 percent in the five years from June 2004, the ninth consecutive month in which the index declined for a five-year period; the number of consecutive five-year declines was revised from previous releases due to downward revisions in the freight index for the last three months of 2008. The index is down 8.1 percent in 10 years for the sixth-ever 10-year decline in the 20-year history of TSI data; all these 10-year declines took place in the first six months of 2009.

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.