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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

No sign of economic slowdown: March transportation index sets 14-year high, USDOT says


Another month, another high-water mark for the Transportation Services Index (TSI). In March, the index reached 122.5, its highest level in 14 years, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). The economic indicator rose 7 percent compared with March 2003 and 1 percent compared with February, when the previous 14-year high was set.

The March freight TSI of 123.3 increased 1.4 percent and 6 percent compared with February's and March 2003's indexes, respectively. USDOT revised February's freight TSI to 121.6 from a previously reported 120.6.

The March passenger TSI of 120.5 dropped 0.1 percent compared with February's index after two-straight monthly increases. However, the index rose 9.4 percent compared with March 2003's TSI. USDOT revised February's passenger index to 120.6 from a previously reported 119.7.

The TSI is a measure of month-to-month changes in the output of services provided by for-hire transportation industries, including railroad, air, truck, inland waterways, pipelines and local transit. The index includes historic data from 1990 to the present; changes are measured against a base year of 1996.