BTS reports Freight TSI is up 0.2 percent in September
November 15, 2012
The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported this week that its Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) increased 0.2 percent from August to September following a 0.1 percent decrease from July to August.
According to BTS officials, the Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in freight shipments in ton-miles, which are then combined into one index. The index 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.
The BTS said that the September Freight TSI at 109.2 is 15.8 percent higher than April 2009’s low point of 94.3 during the recession and is down 4.2 percent from the December 2011 reading of 114.0, which represents the all-time high since BTS first began collecting data in 1990.
And since April 2009, BTS said that freight shipments have risen in 27 of the last 41 months, increasing by a cumulative 15.8 percent during that time.
On an annual basis, September shipments are up 0.1 percent over September 2011 and 11.5 percent higher than September 2009, during what BTS labeled as “the trough of the recession” and below September 2006’s pre-recession level of 111.2.
BTS added that September “continued a pattern of little change since January as some other indicators showed an uptick in economic growth,” including GDP growing 2.0 percent in the third quarter, up from 1.3 percent growth in the second quarter and employment up 0.6 percent in September. It added that almost all freight modes experienced some increase in September, but rail freight showed a significant decline.
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