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10/9/2008



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Transportation Services Index slips in August


Here's another sign of the troubling economic times: After posting a small gain in July vs. the previous month, the Transportation Services Index (TSI) decreased 1.3 percent in August to 111.9.

However, the measure of month-to-month changes in the output of services provided by for-hire freight and passenger transportation industries rose 1.1 percent compared with August 2007's index, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The TSI also posted a year-over-year gain for the eight-month period ending Aug. 31.

August's Freight TSI of 110.8 dropped 1.9 percent from July's level, declining for the first time after four consecutive monthly gains and posting only the second month-over-month decrease in 2008. A measure of the month-to-month changes in the output of services provided by for-hire rail, trucking, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight companies, the index increased 1.6 percent compared with August 2007's level.

During 2008's first eight months, the Freight TSI rose 2.2 percent — the largest eight-month gain since 2002.

August's Passenger TSI of 116.8 increased 0.4 percent vs. July's level. However, the measure of the month-to-month changes in the output of services provided by for-hire air, local transit and intercity rail providers fell 0.6 percent compared with August 2007's index.

Through eight months, the Passenger TSI posted a year-over-year decline for the first time since 2003.


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