Monthly freight index down 0.3%, year-to-year up 0.1%

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Freight Tsi

The Freight Transportation Services Index fell 0.3 percent in November from its October level, declining after two monthly increases, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported Wednesday, Jan. 12.

BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, said that the Freight TSI rose 5.4 percent over the last 18 months, starting in June 2009, after declining 15.3 percent in the previous 10 months beginning in August 2008. The index has increased in 14 of the last 18 months. Through the first 11 months of 2010, the index declined 1.0 percent.

The November Freight TSI of 98.5 is a 5.4 percent increase from the recent low of 93.5 reached in May 2009, when the index was at its lowest level since June 1997. The November Freight TSI is down 12.7 percent from its historic peak of 112.9 reached in May 2006.

Although the index rose 0.1 percent from November 2009 to November 2010, it remains below the level of every other November since 2001 when it was 97.6. January 2010 was the first month since July 2008 in which the Freight TSI exceeded the level of the same month of the previous year. The index has exceeded the previous year’s level every month since January but still remains below the level of recent earlier years. The freight index is down 12.7 percent in the five years from November 2005 and is down 0.5 percent in the 10 years from November 2000.

The Freight TSI measures the output of the for-hire freight transportation industry and 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.