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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Transportation Services Index stops slide, sets another 14-year record in July


After a two-month slump, the Transportation Services Index (TSI) reached another 14-year high in July at 125.5, besting the previous record of 125.4 set in April. The index increased 0.4 percent compared with June and 7.2 percent compared with July 2003, according to the U.S. the Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). The agency revised June's TSI from 125.0 to 123.9.

The July freight TSI of 129.6 rose 0.3 percent compared with June and 6.9 percent compared with July 2003. BTS revised the April freight index from 126.6 to a record 127.1, and the June index from 125.7 to 126.6.

The July passenger TSI of 122.7 reached an all-time high, besting the previous high of 121.8 set in April. The index also exceeded the pre-September 2001 high — 121.7 in August 2001 — by the largest-ever margin since Sept. 11, 2001. In addition, the passenger TSI rose 0.8 percent compared with June and 7.8 percent compared with July 2003. BTS revised the April passenger index from 120.0 to 121.8, and the June index from 120.0 to 121.7.

During the year's first half, the TSI, freight TSI and passenger TSI rose 3.9 percent, 3.9 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively, compared with similar 2003 data.

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.

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