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Freight index hits historic lows

WASHINGTON — The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) fell 1.2 percent in April from its March level, declining for the second consecutive month to the lowest level in seven years, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reports.

The April decrease was the seventh decline in the Freight TSI in the last nine months. The index has declined 10.percent in that nine-month period.

The 1.2 percent decline in the first four months of 2009 was the second largest in the last decade, exceeded only by a 6.7 percent decline for the first four months of 2000.

The April level of the Freight TSI of 100.2 is at the lowest level since April 2002 when it was 99.3. The Freight TSI is down 11.4 percent from its historic peak of 113.1 reached in November 2005.

The 8.5 percent decline in the Freight TSI from April 2008 to April 2009 was the largest April-to-April decline in the 20 years for which the TSI is calculated.

The freight index is also down 9.4 percent in the five years from April 2004, the fifth consecutive month in which the index declined for a five-year period. The index is down 1.7 percent in 10 years for the second-ever 10-year decline in the 20-year history of TSI data. The first 10-year decline was in March.

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