Monthly Output Index for the U.S. Transportation Sector
Journal of Transportation and Statistics, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2003
Posted: 13 May 2008
In this paper, we develop a monthly output index for the U.S. transportation sector from January 1980 through April 2002, covering air, rail, water, truck, transit, and pipeline activities. Separate indices for freight and passenger are also constructed. Our total transportation output index matches very well with the annual transportation output figures produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The strong cyclical movements of transportation output appear to be more synchronized with the growth slowdowns in the U.S. economy than full-fledged recessions. Our index led the turning points of the six National Bureau of Economic Research-defined growth cycles over the period with an average lead time of six months at peaks and five months at troughs.
Keywords: transportation output, Fisher Ideal Index,business cycles, growth cycles, freight transportation.
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