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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Transportation Services Index dipped just a tad in June


The Transportation Services Index (TSI) slipped a bit in June, declining 0.6 percent from May's level to 119.3, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). But on a year-over-year basis, the index rose 2.5 percent.

The Freight TSI in June clocked in at 119.1, down 0.9 percent from May's level and up 2.8 percent from June 2013's mark. The index was only slightly below the all-time-high of 120.2 reached in May, BTS officials said in a press release. The Freight TSI measures month-to-month changes in the output of for-hire rail, trucking, inland waterway, pipeline and air freight firms.

"The index for each freight mode declined in June with the largest decline in pipelines. The declines took place when construction spending, which often is a driver of transportation shipments, declined in June after several months of increases," BTS officials said. "[Although] construction spending declined, there was growth in several other economic indicators."

Despite its slight drop in June, the Freight TSI was higher in each month of the second quarter than it was in any month during the first quarter, when severe weather impacted transportation, they said.

Meanwhile, the Passenger TSI in June was virtually unchanged from May's mark at 119.6. The index — which measures month-to-month changes in the output from air, local transit and intercity rail service providers — increased 1.7 percent on a year-over-year basis.

In the second quarter, the TSI ticked up 0.3 percent, Freight TSI inched up 0.2 percent and Passenger TSI ratcheted up 0.4 percent compared with the same 2013 period.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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