Hardly figures to cause celebration, but up is better than down. The Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) notes that the climb in May was the fourth rise in the last six months. The Bureau's highest freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) was November 2005's 113.1, and the low was last November's 108.3.
As the Bureau notes, the TSI is still in an experimental phase. It is a seasonally adjusted index that measures changes from monthly averages from the base year 2000. The May freight TSI was down 3.0% year over year, at 109.7. According to the BTS, the Index is aimed at permitting it to be examined with other economic indicators to help understand the relationship of changes in transportation output to the Gross Domestic Product.
The TSI for freight includes data on for hire trucking, railroad freight services (including intermodal freight), inland waterway transportation, pipeline transportation (including petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas) and air freight.