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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends
Freight services index hit record level in August
The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) reached a record high of 140.6 in August, up 4.1 percent from the index in August 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).
The index — which is based on the amount of freight carried by for-hire transportation entities — rose 1.4 percent from July's index and marked the second consecutive monthly increase.
The previous all-time high index reached 138.8 in November 2018. July's index was revised to 138.7 from 139.0, which the BTS reported last month.
"The August Freight TSI increase was broad-based, with increases in all sectors except the rail components — carloads and intermodal," BTS officials said in a press release. "The TSI increase took place against a background of mixed results for other indicators."
BTS officials noted that the Federal Reserve Board Industrial Production Index grew in August, with increases in mining, manufacturing and utilities. Personal income increased by 0.4 percent, while housing starts grew by 12.3 percent.
Also, the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Index fell 2.1 points to 49.1, indicating contraction in the manufacturing sector.
Year to date, the for-hire freight shipments measured by the index were up 3.2 percent in August, compared to the index at 2018's end.
Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.