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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

June's Transportation Services Index showed slight growth


In June, the Transportation Services Index (TSI) inched up 0.1 percent from May’s level to 111.7, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). On a year-over-year basis, the index rose 1.8 percent.

The Freight TSI dropped 0.1 percent from May’s mark to 109.5. But the index — which measures the output of for-hire rail, trucking, inland waterway, pipeline and air-freight companies — increased 1.6 percent compared with June 2011. The slight dip in June “appears to reflect the rate of growth in the general economy,” BTS officials said in a prepared statement.

“Gross Domestic Product growth slowed to 1.5 percent in the second quarter and a revised 2 percent in the first quarter, from 3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011,” they said. “Rail and truck freight grew in June, but were offset by a decline in shipments using other modes, notably waterborne freight, which may be due to the impact of low water conditions on the Mississippi River system.”

Meanwhile, June’s Passenger TSI of 117.6 rose 0.5 percent from May’s level and 2.3 percent from June 2011’s mark. The seasonally adjusted index reflects data from air, local transit and intercity rail providers.

In the second quarter, the TSI inched up 0.4 percent, Freight TSI dipped 0.2 percent and Passenger TSI climbed 2 percent compared with second-quarter 2011 levels. The Freight TSI remained relatively stable in the quarter, continuing a pattern of minimal change since January, BTS officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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