FTSI Falls Slightly From Record High
The Freight Transportation Services Index fell 1.5 percent in March from February’s all-time high, the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported yesterday.
The March 2017 index level of 124.0 was 30.9 percent above the April 2009 low during the most recent recession.
The Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in for-hire freight shipments by mode of transportation in tons and ton-miles, which are combined into one index. The index measures the output of the for-hire freight transportation industry and consists of data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight. The TSI is seasonally-adjusted to remove regular seasons from month-to-month comparisons.
The March Freight TSI declined by 1.5 percent from the previous month due to decreases in trucking, rail carloads, rail intermodal, and water, while air freight and pipeline grew. At the same time Employment and Personal Income grew, while housing starts declined, which could only affect trucking negatively.
Research has shown a clear relationship between economic cycles and the Freight and Passenger Transportation Services Indexes.