ECONOMIC WATCH: Freight TSI stable

The Freight Transportation Services Index (Freight TSI) fell 0.1% in November, dropping slightly after two consecutive monthly increases, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS) said Wednesday. From November 2019 to November 2020, the index fell 3.8% compared to a decline of 0.9% from November 2018 to November 2019, the bureau said.

Source: BTS

The November decrease followed two months of growth, and was only the second drop since April, leaving the index 5.6% above its April level.

The index has increased in five of the past seven months, following three months of decline. “TSI’s course through the pandemic has been a decline of 8.2% from January to April, a 5.7% rebound from April to July, a subsequent 1.0% decline from July to August and then an increase of 0.8% from August to November,” the bureau said. The index is based on the amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry.

It measures the month-to-month changes by mode of transportation in tons and ton-miles, which are combined into one index.

ECONOMIC WATCH: Freight TSI stableSource: BTS

“The Freight TSI was almost unchanged in November, decreasing 0.1% from October due to declines in water and pipeline, despite growth in trucking, air freight, rail carload and rail intermodal,” BTS said. “The November decrease took place against the background of mixed results in other indicators.” The level of for-hire freight shipments in November measured by the Freight TSI (132.7) was 6.3% below the all-time high level of 141.6 in August 2019, the bureau said.

The October index was revised to 132.8 from 131.7 in last month’s release.

Monthly numbers for August and September were revised up slightly.

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