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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

May's Transportation Services Index slipped slightly vs. April, BTS says


In May, the Transportation Services Index (TSI) slipped 0.1 percent from April’s level to 111.6, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). But on a year-over-year basis, the index climbed 3.4 percent.

The Freight TSI matched April’s mark at 109.6, up 4.3 percent compared with May 2011’s level. The index — which measures the output of for-hire rail, trucking, inland waterway, pipeline and air freight companies — has shown little change since dropping in January from its December peak, BTS officials said in a prepared statement.

“The recent plateauing of the Freight TSI … appears to reflect slowing growth in the general economy,” they said. “Gross Domestic Product growth slowed to 1.9 percent in the first quarter, from 3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. [And] changes in employment and personal income suggest that the slower growth continued in May, which is consistent with the lack of change in the Freight TSI.”

Meanwhile, May’s Passenger TSI of 117 dropped 0.5 percent from April’s level, but increased 1.2 percent from May 2011’s mark. The seasonally adjusted index reflects data from air, local transit and intercity rail providers.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/12/2012